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The President

Miguel Asturias

3 Reviews

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

'One of the most remarkable of all Latin-American novels' Professor A. A. Parker

The President tells the story of a ruthless dictator and his schemes to dispose of a political adversary in an unnamed country usually identified as Guatemala. Drawing on his experience as a journalist writing under repressive conditions, Miguel Angel Asturias provides a blazing indictment of totalitarian government and its damaging psychological effects on society - from the harvest of terror to cowardice, to sycophancy, to treachery and intrigue, and the total sacrifice of human values to lust for power.

Written in a language of freedom and originality, full of extraordinary symbolism, biting satire, poetry and dream sequences, with an imagination that is both lyrical and ferocious, The President is a surrealist masterpiece and one of the most influential books of the twentieth century.

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Praise for The President

  • A phenomenal work that will never date

  • Asturias leaves no doubt about what it is like to be tortured, or what it is like to work for a man who is both omnipotent and depraved - TLS

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Miguel Asturias

Miguel Angel Asturias was born in 1899 in Guatemala. After studying there he lived in Paris between 1923 and 1933, where he wrote El Senor Presidente (The President). It was unpublished for thirteen years until the fall of Guatemalan dictator Jorge Ubico. From 1944 until 1954, Asturias held various government positions until the fall of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, when he went into exile in Argentina. In 1966, Asturias was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize, and in 1967 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 1974 in Madrid, Spain.

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