Javier Vásconez

Javier Vásconez (born 1946, Quito) is not yet so well known in the English- speaking world, but he is certainly keenly appreciated in Spanish and Latin- American circles, and has had stories and chapters of some of his novels translated into French, German, English, Italian and Swedish. He has received high praise for his work, and considerable critical attention. His narratives have been described by some as belonging to the tradition of Faulkner, Camus, Onetti and Dostoyevsky.

Lately, his work has been recognized by inclusion in The Ecuador Reader, published by Duke University Press, and, this year, by a review in World Literature Today of a critical edition of his first major novel El Viajero de Praga (The Traveller of Prague’). His literary career began in 1982 with the publication of his first collection of short stories Ciudad Lejana (Distant City), one story from which, ‘Angelote, Amor Mío’, was singled out for praise the following year in the Mexico-based literature journal, “Plural 7.”

He has since produced a further four collections of short stories and has become one of Latin-America’s most respected practitioners of this literary art-form. In parallel, his four novels have been well received, notable among them El Viajero de Praga, and La Sombra del Apostador (The Shadow of the Gambler), which was among the final selections for the award of Premio Rómulo Gallegos, one of the most prestigious prizes given for literature in the Spanish language. Indeed, one of his most recent novels, Jardín Capelo (2007), was also a finalist for this prize. The author is also a noted editor, working in literary publishing houses in Quito, Ecuador.

Samples of his work available online;

The short story, “The Gentleman of Saint John,” (live link, translation by Martin Connolly).

Biography by Martin Connolly (personal homepage).