Liliana Heker

Article Works
politics, women
Written and spoken word (general, journalism)
America, South
created on:
April 28, 2005
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since November 14, 2005. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Liliana Heker was born in 1943 in Buenos Aires. In Argentina this versatile author is known not only through her numerous novels and shorter narratives, but through being a socially committed journalist. As chief editor of the literary periodicals ´El escarabajo de oro´ (1961-1974) and ´El Ornitorrinco´ (1977-1986) she has influenced in a decisive way the literary life of her home country for over twenty years.
Liliana Heker’s career began extraordinarily early. At the age of just 17 she met Abelardo Castillo, writer and chief editor of the literary periodical ´El grillo de papel´, who introduced her as an editor to the magazin. In 1966 she published her first collection of short narratives, ´Los que vieron la zarza´ for which she received the prize of the Cuban Casa de las Américans. In subsequent years further collections appeared: ´Acuario´ (1972) and ´Un resplandor que se acabó en el mundo´. In 1987 her first novel ´Zona de clivaje´ was published, for which Liliana Heker was awarded the Primer Premio Municipal.

From the nineties the author has been devoting herself to an analysis of political repression during the Argentine dictatorship, a time which was marked by state brutality and by the disappearances of many of the system’s critics. In her novel ´El fin de la historia´, which appeared in 1996, she succeeded in conveying a complex critical confrontation with the Argentina of the seventies in which expression is given to the numerous opinions and attitudes. "How to describe this betrayal, how to describe a torturer and his own view of the truth and with what other truths should one confront him? I have tried to blur the border between documentation and fiction. Above all, my text is meant to be fact as literature with all the problematic and ambiguous implications which such an attempt entails."

With ´Las hermanas de Shakespeare´ (1999), she presents a collection of partly already published essays, in which she throws a critical light on the situation of women authors. The great challenge to women writers lies for Heker in a critical look by the woman writer at herself and her sex. "If a woman is capable of looking deeply into herself she will be able to recognize men and to put herself in the position of others, as, for example, Katherine Mansfield was able to do. A woman writer who accepts her own maliciousness, her contradictions and her particular relationship to her body will be able to establish contact with herself, other women and men."

Liliana lives and works today in Buenos Aires.
Author: International Festival of Literature Berlin (ilb)


El fin de la historia

Published Written,
Alfaguara: Buenos Aires

Dialogos Sobre La Vida y La Muerte

Published Written,

Los Bordes de Lo Real

Published Written,
Alfaguara: Buenos Aires

La crueldad de la vida

Published Written,
Alfaguara: Buenos Aires

Las hermanas de Shakespeare

Published Written,
Aguilar: Buenos Aires

El fin de la historia

Published Written,
Alfaguara: Buenos Aires

The Stolen Party: And Other Stories

Published Written,
(EL Partido Rubado). Coach House Press

Zona de clivaje

Published Written,
Legasa: Buenos Aires


Published Written,
Centro Ed. De América Latina: Buenos Aires