Alfredo Bryce Echenique

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Alfredo Bryce Echenique was born in Lima as son of a well-off, English-Peruvian family on February 19th 1939. Upon the wish of his family, Bryce Echenique studied law until 1964. His literary interest nevertheless prevailed and so, shortly afterwards, he completed a parallel study course in literature with a thesis on Ernest Hemingway.
A year later he received a grant from the French government which, like many other Latin American authors of the boom period, led him to Paris. At the Sorbonne he studied classic and modern French literature and then taught at various French schools and universities.

After the story volume ´Huerto cerrado´ came out in 1968, his first novel ´Un mundo para Julius´ became a big success and counts today as one of the classics of Latin American literature. The novel, which has since been translated into ten languages, tells the story of a young boy who grows up as the youngest of four children of a rich, Peruvian upper class family. Although Julius actually belongs to the ruling classes he feels a stronger bond with the servants which surround him and this brings him into conflict with his family. With biting irony the author exposes, through the eyes of a child, the great social differences in Peruvian society. ´Un mundo para Julius´ marks for Bryce Echenique the start of an extremely productive literary career, in which he has until today written nearly twenty novels and story volumes.

"I am an author of the second half of the 20th century." Despite this declaration and his spatial and temporal closeness to other Latin American authors of the ´boom generation´, Bryce Echenique keeps a conscious distance to his colleagues who he sometimes refers to as ´nouveau riche´.

That his style, as one critic once said, corresponds more to an ironic than a magic realism, is shown by the author also in his last novel ´La amigdalitis de Tarzán´ from 1999. Largely in the form of letters, the novel tells the story of the hindered romantic relationship between a poor Peruvian writer and the daughter of an influential Salvadorian family. Juan Manuel Carpio and Fernanda María de la Trinidad del Monte Montes get to know each other during the turbulent 68 period in Paris only shortly later to lose sight of each other but they remain in contact through letters for nearly their whole lives. In their turbulent journey through life, Maria, who was quite naive at the beginning, is shown to be a woman whose special strength is lovingly reflected in the picture of a somewhat croaky Tarzan.

Similar to his heroes, Alfredo Bryce Echenique also lived for decades far away from his home city of Lima to which he only returned to in 1999.
Author: International Festival of Literature Berlin (ilb)

Works

Las obras infames de Pancho Marambio

Published Written,
2007
Planeta: Barcelona

Entre la soledad y el amor

Published Written,
2005
Peisa: Lima

Entrevistas escogidas

Published Written,
2004
Fondo Editorial Cultura Peruana: Lima

Doce cartas a dos amigos

Published Written,
2003
Peisa: Lima

El huerto de mi amada

Published Written,
2002
Novel. Planeta: Barcelona

Crónicas perdidas

Published Written,
2002
Anagrama: Barcelona

La amigdalitis de Tarzán

Published Written,
1999
Novel

Guía triste de París

Published Written,
1999
Narrations

Reo de nocturnidad

Published Written,
1997
Novel

A trancas y barrancas

Published Written,
1996

No me esperen en abril

Published Written,
1995
Novel

Dos señoras conversan

Published Written,
1990
Narratives

La última mudanza de Felipe Carrillo

Published Written,
1988
Novel

Goig

Published Written,
1987
Together with Ana María Dueñas

Crónicas personales: edición aumentada de A vuelo de buen cubero

Published Written,
1987

Magdalena peruana y otros cuentos

Published Written,
1986
Short stories

El hombre que habla de Octavia Cádiz

Published Written,
1984
Novel

La vida exagerada de Martín Romaña

Published Written,
1981
Novel

La pasión según San Pedro Balbuena que fue tantas veces Pedro, y que nunca pudo negar a nadie

Published Written,
1977

Tantas Veces Pedro

Published Written,
1977
Novel

La felicidad ja ja

Published Written,
1974

Un mundo para Julius

Published Written,
1970

Huerto cerrado

Published Written,
1968

Www

International Festival of Literature Berlin