Diamela Eltit

“(1949-) Chilean novelist, performance artist, and teacher. Eltit has written some of the most brilliant and difficult books to emerge from Latin America since the so-called Boom. A literature of transgression, it uses multiple linguistic and narrative sources, displaces plot as a central concern, and shows uncertain characters in an equally uncertain interior terrain, yet still makes reference to the social crises of the external world. Sexuality and its deviations, social inequality, the shame of convention, and the overwhelming and exclusionary nature of power are recurrent concerns. The writing carries off such heavy themes through fractured diction and syntax. Works like Lumperica (1983) and El cuarto mundo (1988) defy the rational conventions of the novel to present writing which is, like the human body, mutable, ungainly, and often as ugly as it is beautiful.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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