Alberto Ruy Sánchez was born in Mexico City in 1951. After studying information and communication studies at the Iberoamericana University in Mexico City, he lived in Paris, where from 1975 to 1982 he continued his studies under Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Rancière, focusing in particular on film and philosophy. He received his Ph.D. in 1980 and has since worked as a writer and publisher. From 1984 to 1986 he was editorial secretary on the legendary magazine ´Vuelta´ published by Octavio Paz. Since 1988 he has been the publisher of the renowned art magazine ´Artes de México´ and director of the publishing house of the same name in Mexico City.
Ruy Sánchezís literary influences include ´On the Road´ by Jack Kerouac and the works of Herman Melville, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes and Robert Frost. To date Ruy Sánchez has published 20 works. They have won numerous awards and have been translated into various languages including French and Arabic.
Shortly after its publication in 1987, his first novel ´Los nombres del aire´ (t: Mogador, 1992) received Mexicoís most important literary award, the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize. It has since attained cult status and is reprinted annually. The novella describes the awakening desire of a young Muslim woman and her restless expeditions through the city of Mogador in search of erotic fulfillment. Ruy Sánchez links elements of magic realism with Arabic mysticism, invoking a sensual and spirtual mood in everyday Islamic life. Mogador is the ancient name of the city of Essaouria on the Moroccan Atlantic coast, and forms the imaginary centre of the narrative labyrinth of Ruy Sánchezís work, a point to which he often returns in later works such as the short story ´De cómo llegó a Mogador la Melancolía´ ( t: How Melancholy Came to Mogador, 1999).
In his prose work, which revolves around the city of Mogador, Ruy Sánchez aims to reconstruct the Arabic roots of Hispanic culture and identity by way of fiction.
In addition to novels and stories, Ruy Sánchez has also published poems, including a Haiku cycle, as well as extensive collections of essays. His writing on literature, art, philosophy, eroticism and film has earned him a reputation as "one of our (Mexico´s) best essayists" (Octavio Paz). The author lives in Mexico City.
Author: International Festival of Literature Berlin (ilb)
La mano del fuego - Un Kama Sutra involuntario
Editorial Alfaguara: México
Nueve veces el asombro
Editorial Alfaguara: México
Los jardines secretos de Mogador
La huella del grito
Solar editores: Mexiko
En los labios del agua
Taller Martín Pescador: Mexiko
Los nombres del aire
Joaquín Mortiz: Mexiko
Los demonios de la lengua
La Orquesta: Mexiko
Premio Xavier Villaurrutia for Los nombres del aire
Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, New York
Premio de Literatura José Fuentes Mares, for his book Una introducción a Octavio Paz. New Mexico State University and Universidad de Ciudad Juarez.
Honorary Member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores, México
Honorary Citizen of Louisville, Kentucky
Honorary Member of the chapter Mu Epsilon of the National Hispanic Society Sigma, Delta, Pi, in the USA.
Kentucky Colonel, by the Governor of Kentucky
Prix des Trois Continents, for the French edition of En los labios del agua
Officier de líOrdre des Arts et des Lettres, by the French Government
Honorary Captain of the historical Steam Boat La belle de Louisville"
Premio Cálamo, by Librería Cálamo and the Universidad de Zaragoza for Los Jardines Secretos de Mogador, Spain
Gran Orden de Honor Nacional al Mérito Autoral. By the Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. México
Premio a la Excelencia de lo Nuestro. By the Fundación México Unido. México
Premio Juan Pablos al Mérito Editorial. By the Cámara Nacional de la Industria Editorial Mexicana (CANAIEM). México