Giovanna Pollarolo Giglio , the daughter of Italian immigrants, was born in Tacna, Peru in 1952. She is known foremost as a poet but has also written short stories and film scripts. After finishing her studies in Education and obtaining a degree in Secondary School Teaching, she studied both Literature and Humanities at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Lima, and completed a Master’s degree at the Universidad Mayor of San Marcos.
Pollarolo worked as editorial director of the cultural magazine »Debate« from 1994 to 1998 before being promoted to co-editor, a post she held from 1998 to 2000. During this time at the magazine she published book reviews and interviews. Since 2002 she has been active as cultural columnist for the daily newspaper »Peru.21«. Apart from her journalism, Pollarolo has directed various workshops in scriptwriting for both film and television, and also headed several poetry and prose workshops. Her first book of poetry, »Huerto de los olivos« (Engl: Olive Orchard), appeared in 1986, her second, »Entre mujeres solas« (Engl: Among Solitary Women), in 1991, and her third, »La ceremonia del adiós« (Engl: Goodbye Ceremony), in 1993. References to her native Tacna surface in all three books, and she also lists the work of the great Peruvian poet César Vallejo as a major source of inspiration.
Following the volumes of poetry came her prose debut, a collection of nine stories entitled »Atado de nervios« (1999; Engl: Bound by Nerves). The book dramatises the demise of love and relationships, portraying the pain, anxiety and self-destructive impulses of women trapped in crumbling marriages, who experience a breakdown of communication between them and the men they love. In this work,full rein is given to themes long smouldering in Pollarolo’s poems: spiritual degeneration, loneliness even within companionship, loss and abandonment. The book was praised for its lyricism, narrative maturity and memorable female characters.
Parallel to her activities in the world of criticism and poetry, Pollarolo established a name for herself as a highly respected writer of film scripts. She has written several scripts for her former husband, the director Francisco Lombardi, as well as for other filmmakers. Many of her works have received prizes, among them the Hartley-Merrill Prize for »Ciudad de M« (1995; Engl: City of M), the prize for best script at the Los Angeles Film Festival for her adaptation of »Tinta Roja« (2000; Engl: Red Ink) – based on the novel by the young Chilean writer Alberto Fuguet –, and first prize for »Ojos que no ven« (2003; Engl: Eyes That Do Not See) at the International Festival of Audiovisual Programs at Biarritz. Additionally Pollarolo has served on the jury of the Havana Film Festival, and since 1992 she has taught Latin American Literature as well as Linguistics at the Universidad del Pacífico. The writer lives in Lima and has two children, a son and a daughter.
Translator: Petra Strien
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