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José Donoso


José Donoso was born in Santiago in 1924, the son of a doctor. He was educated in an English school in Santiago. After attending the Instituto Pedagógico of the University of Chile he went to Princeton University (where he obtained a B.A.) and the University of Iowa. He subsequently lived in Mexico City and then Spain, where he wrote most of his major novels and where he became one of the key figures of the Latin American boom (about which he also wrote an interesting book). He returned to Chile in the 1980s where he was a strong critic of the Pinochet regime. He died in 1996. His writing is noted for its dark surrealism, with the theme of exile and the lonely world of the writer being predominant. The key twentieth century themes of the clash between order and chaos, the decay of social institutions and futility of human existence also appear strongly in his work.

Books about José Donoso

Pilar Donoso: Correr el tupido velo (biography by his adopted daughter – in Spanish)

Other links

José Donoso
Jose Donoso, 72, Fantastical Chilean Novelist
Obituary: Jose Donoso
José Donoso (in Spanish)
José Donoso (in Spanish)
José Donoso (in Spanish)
Interview (in Spanish)


1955 Veraneo y otros cuentos
1957 Coronación (Coronation)
1960 El charleston; cuentos (Charleston & Other Stories)
1966 Este domingo (This Sunday)
1966 Lugar sin límites (Hell Has No Limits)
1966 Mejores cuentos de José Donoso
1970 Obsceno pájaro de la noche (The Obscene Bird of Night)
1971 Cuentos
1972 Historia personal del”boom” (The Boom in Spanish American Literature : a Personal History)
1973 Tres novelitas burguesas (Sacred Families : Three Novellas)
1978 Casa de campo (A House in the Country)
1980 La misteriosa desaparición de la marquesita de Loria
1981 El jardín de al lado (The Garden Next Door)
1981 Poemas de un novelista
1982 Cuatro para Delfina
1985 Sueños de mala muerte
1986 La desesperanza (Curfew)
1989 Taratura ; Naturaleza muerta con cachimba (Taratuta and Still Life with Pipe : Two Novellas)
1995 Dónde van a morir los elefantes [Where Elephants Go To Die]
1996 Conjeturas sobre la memoria de mi tribu
1996 Nueve novelas breves
1997 El Mocho
1998 Artículos de incierta necesidad
2007 Largatija sin cola
2016 Diarios tempranos : Donosos in progress, 1950-1965