Neustadt International Prize

2002 - Álvaro Mutis

Born: 25 August 1923, Bogotá, Columbia

Died: 22 September 2013

Author's Quote : "Life always holds in store surprises that are more complex and unforeseeable than any dream, and the secret is to let them come and not block them with castles in the air."

Field: Poet, Essayist, Novelist

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By Álvaro Mutis

About Álvaro Mutis

Álvaro Mutis Jaramillo was a Colombian poet, novelist, and essayist and author of the compendium The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll. He was awarded the 2002 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Mutis was born in Bogotá and lived in Brussels from the age of two until eleven, where his father, Santiago Mutis Dávila, held a post as a diplomat. They would return to Colombia by ship for summer holidays. During this time Mutis' family stayed at his grandfather's coffee and sugar cane plantation, Coello. For Álvaro Mutis, the impressions of these early years, his reading of Jules Verne and of Pablo Neruda's Residencia en la tierra, and, especially, contact with "el trópico" (the tropics), are the mainspring of his work. Mutis studied high school in Bogotá under the tutelage of the Colombian poet Eduardo Carranza. Although he never finished school, he entered the literary world in Bogotá as a poet, a member of the Cántico group that emerged in 1940s. In 1948 Mutis and Carlos Patiño published a chapbook of poems called La balanza. He lived in Mexico City since 1956, gaining renown there as the result of Octavio Paz's positive reviews of his work.


The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll - Álvaro Mutis

By A Customer

This may be the most beautifully written, wise, and fun book I have ever read. Maqroll is the perfect companion: he goes everywhere, knows many remarkable and delightful people in every spot, and speaks with wisdom, joy, and sadness all at once. Each sentence is a gem: taken together, they create a world that transports the reader into a world of adventure, danger, love, friendship, and insight. Imagine Cervantes mixed with Pynchon, with a little Groucho Marx thrown in: this is a work to savor and Maqroll is a wise and loving guide to a world of breath-taking beauty, where each day holds new treasures. This is the closest thing to a perfect book I have come across. It is a true classic, as readers of Spanish literature have known for some years.

The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll - Álvaro Mutis

By A Customer

READ THIS BOOK! If Dylan and Pablo Neruda collaborated, this would be the result. Lyrical, funny, heartbreaking stories set around the fringes of cities and backwater towns. Do these places even exist anymore? There is a homeric quality to the stories that transforms the flotsam and jetsam lives of the charaters. I cannot say it enough, READ THIS BOOK