Alberto Ruy-Sánchez

Article Works Merits www
eroticism, Islam, spirituality
Written and spoken word (general)
America, Central, America, North
Mexico, United States of America
created on:
April 28, 2005
last changed on:
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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 Sánchez’s 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 Mexico’s 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 Sánchez’s 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

Published Written,
Editorial Alfaguara: México

Nueve veces el asombro

Published Written,
Editorial Alfaguara: México

Los jardines secretos de Mogador

Published Written,
Alfaguara: Madrid

La huella del grito

Published Written,
Solar editores: Mexiko

En los labios del agua

Published Written,
Alfaguara: Mexiko

La inaccesible

Published Written,
Taller Martín Pescador: Mexiko

Los nombres del aire

Published Written,
Joaquín Mortiz: Mexiko

Los demonios de la lengua

Published Written,
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 l’Ordre 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


International Festival of Literature

Official website