Santiago Roncagliolo was born in Lima, Peru in 1975. He grew up in Mexico during his family’s political exile. Back in his home country, he studied linguistics and literature at the Universidad Católica. After graduation he spent three years working at the national helpdesk for the defence of human rights, which was beginning to research missing and murdered victims of the war against terrorism. In 2000 he moved to Spain.
Roncagliolo belongs to the younger generation of Latin American writers no longer marked by magical realism’s long-standing influence. His varied work is much more affected by film and the omni pr esent media. »I’d like to pr oduce good literature through popular culture (such as thrillers or television). To me they don’t seem incompatible.«
In fact, Roncagliolo explores all narrative possibilities: written or visual, adult or child-oriented, fiction or non-fiction. His play »Tus amigos nunca te harían daño« (1999; t: Your friends would never harm you) has been performed in eight Latin American countries and included in the anthology »Dramaturgia Peruana«. An adaptation of his original screenplay »Extraños« (2001; t: The strange) was awarded the Petrobras Prize and is being filmed in Brazil. He was named »new talent« by the FNAC for his collection of short stories »Crecer es un oficio triste« (2003; t: Growing up is a sad affair). His last children book, »Matías y los imposibles« (2006; t: Matías and the Impossibles) won the international White Raven Prize from Munich’s Library.
But the interest of readers and critics was especially aroused by the publication of the novel »Pudor« (2004; t: Prudishness). The story of a family overwhelmed by their silenced feelings, resulting in the inevitable s pr ead of torpor and solitude, had five re pr ints and was made into a film, released in Spain this year.
Roncagliolo’s next novel, »Abril rojo« (2006; t: Red A pr il), is a serial-killer political thriller. It tells the story of a law-abiding, hardworking attorney general whose vision of the boundaries between good and evil becomes blurred while investigating several murder cases within the stronghold of the »Shining Path«. The novel was awarded the distinguished Premio Alfaguara in 2006, and it is being translated into more than twelve languages. Roncagliolo started a blog (http://blogs.elboomeran.com) that became the virtual journal for the reading tour that was to follow. A selection of these entries was published, entitled »Jet Lag« (2007).
Along with his literary activities Roncagliolo writes reports and political commentary for various South American newspapers and for the Spanish daily »El País«. He has also worked as a translator. He lives in Barcelona.
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