Currently the Minister of Culture, Raúl Pérez Torres has long been considered one of Ecuador’s most important contemporary voices in narrative fiction. Among his honors are the the José Mejía prize, awarded by the Mayor’s office in Quito, for his 1978 novel, Ana la pelota humana (Ana the human ball) (Quito, 1978), while his Solo cenizas hallarás (Only ashes you will find) won he Juan Rulfo award in France as well as the Julio Cortazar Award. He also won the Casa de las Américas Prize in Cuba for En la Noche y en la Niebla (In the Night and Fog).
Born in 1941, he was a founding member of the influential literary journal, “La bufanda del sol,” (“The sun’s scarf”) and edited “Letters of Ecuador” publication of the Casa de la Cultura, where he also served as president. His roman à clef Disenchantment Theory has been praised as a meditation on stagnation in politics and literature, as well as the loss of innocence.
Latin American studies scholar David Foster Williams, of Arizona State University, has praised Pérez Torres for a “wonderful ability to connect everyday occurrences with the political framework that informs them. The colloquial dialect of Guayaquil and the forthrightness of the characters…serve to disarm the conventionality for which (his) characters have no use.”
Williams adds, that the “locales, however, are not exclusively national and it is because of that this author may well enter the world of Ecuadorian authors published abroad.”
Pérez Torres’ short story, “When I Liked Soccer,” was adapted by Chilean filmmaker, Andres Wood, for Wood’s acclaimed trilogy, “Football Stories.”
Short Story – When I Liked Soccer
Essay – Brief Notes on Ecuadorian and US Literature
Video – Interview with Raúl Peréz Torres (subtitled)