José Donoso

José Donoso
José Donoso, 1981.jpg
Donoso in 1981
Born José Donoso Yáñez
(1924-10-05)October 5, 1924
Died December 7, 1996(1996-12-07) (aged 72)
Occupation Writer, journalist, professor
Language Spanish
Nationality Chilean
Alma mater University of Chile
Genre Novel, short story
Literary movement Latin American Boom
Notable works Hell Has No Limits,
The Obscene Bird of Night
Notable awards National Prize for Literature (Chile) 1990
Years active 20th century
Spouse María del Pilar Serrano
Children Pilar Donoso

José Donoso Yáñez (October 5, 1924 – December 7, 1996) was a Chilean writer. He lived most of his life in Chile, although he spent many years in self-imposed exile in Mexico, the United States ( Iowa) and mainly Spain. Although he had left his country in the sixties for personal reasons, after 1973 he said his exile was also a form of protest against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. He returned to Chile in 1981 and lived there until his death.

Donoso is the author of a number of remarkable stories and novels, which contributed greatly to the Latin American literary boom. The term 'Boom' was coined in his 1972 essay Historia personal del "boom". [1] His best known works include the novels Coronación ( es), El lugar sin límites (The Place Without Limits) and El obsceno pájaro de la noche ( The Obscene Bird of Night). His works deal with a number of themes, including sexuality, the duplicity of identity, psychology, and a sense of dark humor.

After his death, his personal papers at the University of Iowa revealed his homosexuality, a revelation that caused a certain controversy in Chile. [2]


Son of the doctor José Donoso Donoso and Alicia Yáñez, niece of the writer Eliodoro Yanez, founder of the newspaper La Nación.(The Nation) He studied in The Grange School, where he was classmates with Luis Alberto Heiremans and Carlos Fuentes, and in Liceo José Victorino Lastarria (José Victorino Lastarria High School). Coming from a comfortable family, during his childhood he worked as a juggler and an office worker, much before he developed as a writer and teacher.

In 1945 he traveled to the southernmost part of Chile and Argentina, where he worked on sheep farms in the province of Magallanes. Two years later, he finished high school and signed up to study English in the Institute of Teaching in the Universidad de Chile (University of Chile). In 1949, thanks to a scholarship from the Doherty Foundation, he changed to studying ancient English texts in the University of Princeton, where he had professors like R. P. Blackmur, Lawrence Thompson and Allan Tate. The Princeton magazine, MSS, published his first two stories in the English language: The blue woman and The poisoned pastries between 1950 and 1951.

In 1951, he traveled to Mexico and Central America. He then returned to Chile and started teaching how to teach at the Universidad Católica (Catholic University) and in the Kent School.

His first book – Veraneo y otros cuentos -- came about in 1955 and won the Premio Municipal de Santiago (Municipal prize of Santiago) the next year. In 1957 while he lived with a family of fishermen in the Isla Negra, he published his first novel, Coronación, in which he described the high Santiaguina classes and their decadence. Eight years later it was published for the first time in the United States by Alfred A Knopf and in England by The Bodley Head.

He started writing for the magazine Ercilla in 1960 when he found himself traveling through Europe, from where he sent his reports. After he continued as an editor and literary critic of that publication until 1965. Afterwards he collaborated with the Mexican Siempre.

In 1961, he married with painter María Ester Serrano, known as María Pilar Donoso (1926–1997), daughter of the Chilean Juan Enrique Serrano and the Bolivian Graciela Mendieta. Donoso had known her the preceding year in Buenos Aires.

Other Languages
العربية: خوسيه دونوسو
تۆرکجه: خوسه دونوسو
Deutsch: José Donoso
español: José Donoso
Esperanto: José Donoso
français: José Donoso
한국어: 호세 도노소
italiano: José Donoso
polski: José Donoso
português: José Donoso
română: José Donoso
русский: Доносо, Хосе
svenska: José Donoso