Cristina Peri Rossi Biography

(Uruguayan Novelist and Translator Known for Her Work ‘The Ship of Fools’)

Birthday: November 12, 1941 (Scorpio)

Born In: Montevideo, Uruguay

This Latin-American writer was born at a time when women were prohibited from being writers. Even then, Cristina Peri Rossi authored, published and also received appreciation for her works, by overcoming all obstacles. She writes prolifically, and has a number of books to her credit. She has explored almost every form of literature, and her works have been appreciated by critics as well as readers, irrespective of their genre. She has written novels, poems, short stories, essays, and also translated different literary works. The themes dominant in her poetry, novels and short stories are that of love, desire, obsessive relationship, loss, death and estrangement. These themes, even though recurrent in her works, have been skillfully portrayed by the writer in each of her works with novelty. Other than being a writer, she is also an active journalist who works with many Spanish newspapers and writes columns for them. She has a leftist point of view, and her criticism of the government forced her to spend many years in exile. In some of her works she has explored this theme of exile, and put into writing what she underwent during that period. This writer supports gay relationships and has even written a book revolving around lesbian eroticism.
Quick Facts

Age: 81 Years, 81 Year Old Females

Poets Novelists

Notable Alumni: University Of The Republic

City: Montevideo, Uruguay

More Facts

education: University Of The Republic

awards: Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts
Latin America & Caribbean

Childhood & Early Life
This Latin American writer was born on 12th November, 1941 in Montevideo, Uruguay, in a family of Italian immigrants. Her father was basically a farmer by profession, but later started working in the textile sector. Her mother, who was a teacher, was the only educated person in the family.
During her childhood, the government had made education secular and free so that everyone could avail it, which helped this writer continue studying in spite of financial difficulties.
She was introduced to the world of books by an uncle, who himself had a library which became Cristina’s source of knowledge.
She used to make a note of the books she desired to read, and having not being able to buy them, she would spend most of her time reading books at the ’National Library’ in Montevideo. At the age of sixteen she had finished reading ‘The Second Sex’, written by Simone de Beauvoir.
Rossi wished to be a writer from her very childhood and she even started writing when she was quite young. But she hid it from her family because she knew that no one will approve of it.
Before assuming the role of a teacher of literature, Cristina studied biology and comparative literature. Later, she created her own literary works, and also published them.
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In 1963, her first book was published by the name ‘Viviendo’ (Living). It comprised of stories which had females as their protagonists.
Her second book ‘Los museos abandonados’ (Abandoned museums) reached the public in 1968. Although it is a collection of stories, many regard it to be a single novel. Despite the fact that, this book earned her the ‘Arca Publishers Prize for Young Authors’, she also received condemnation from the government for her political criticism and leftist ideology.
The following year, in 1969, her third literary work ‘El Libro de mis primos’ (My Cousins’ Book) hit the book stores, which discussed about the guerrilla movements and military oppression.
The year 1970 saw the publication of her book ‘Indicios pánicos’ (Panic Signs), which is a collection of letters in Hispanic, and has been much appreciated for its personal tone. The book indicates the impending doom that would usher in with the dictator regime in her nation, as foreseen by this writer.
The following year, another book penned by Rossi, named ‘Evohé’, came into print. This book was a collection of erotic poems, which was banned by her country’s military administration. This book was followed by the publication of ‘Descripción de un naufragio’ (Description of a Shipwreck) in 1975, which dwells on the exile theme.
Her book entitled ‘Diáspora’ is another collection of her poetry which was released in the year 1976. The same year ‘La tarde del dinosaurio’ (The Afternoon of the Dinosaur) was published.
In 1979, ‘Lingüística general’ was published, and the following year ‘La rebelión de los niños’ came into print.
Cristina offered the readers a fiction named ‘El museo de los esfuerzos inútiles’ (The Museum of Useless Efforts), in 1983. The book comprises of stories based on the theme of disaffection.
The following year, in 1984, Rossi’s ‘La nave de los locos’ (The Ship of Fools) was printed, followed by the ‘Unapasión prohibida’ (A Forbidden Passion).
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Her novel ‘Solitario de amor’ (Solitude of Love), and ‘Cosmoagonías’, a collection of stories were published in 1988.
In around 1990, she assumed the role of an essayist in ‘Fantasías eróticas’ (Erotic Fantasies), which had a predominant theme of obsessive sexual relationship, similar to that of ‘Solitario de amor’. The collection of essays which followed was ‘Acerca de la escritura’ (About Wing).
In 1991, her book of poems ‘Babel bárbara’, which comprises of many intricate themes, was published. The book won Peri Rossi the ‘City of Barcelona Prize’.
She wrote the ‘La últimanoche de Dostoievski’ (Dostoevsky’s Last Night) in 1992. The novel pictures a metaphor between the act of writing and the act of loving.
Also in the year 1992, ‘La ciudad de Luzbel y otrosrelatos’ (The City of Lucifer) was printed. Two years later, ‘Otravez Eros’ (Again Eros) was published, followed by ‘Aquellanoche’ (Tonight), and ‘Inmovilidad de los barcos’ (Immobility of ships).
In 1997, ‘Desastres íntimos’ was released, followed by the publication of ‘Poemas de amor y desamor’ (Poems of love and Hate), ‘Las musas inquietantes’ (The disquieting muses) and ‘El amoresunadrogadura’ (Love is a Hard Drug) in the next consecutive years.
In the year 2000, Rossi wrote an essay about the Argentinean writer Julio Cortázar, and even named the work after him.
She wrote another essay after two years, titled ‘Cuandofumar era un placer’ (When smoking was a pleasure) after she quit smoking due to health issues.
Peri Rossi’s ‘Estado de exilio’ was published in 2003, which is another collection of poems by this prolific writer. This was followed by the publication of ‘Por fin solos’ (Finally Alone) which is a collection of stories.
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In 2004, Cristina’s collection of poems ‘Estrategías del deseo’ (Strategies of Desires) was made available to the readers, which encompasses the theme of love from the beginning of desire to the loss of the emotion.
In 2005, her collection of poems titled ‘Poesía Reunida’ was printed, followed by ‘Mi casa es la escritura’ and ‘Habitación de hotel’ (Hotel Room), the next year.
In the year 2007, Rossi published the ‘Cuentos Reunidos’ (Collected stories). She wrote a book narrating exile as a kind of journey named ‘State of Exile’, the next year.
In 2009, Cristina Peri Rossi came up with her book ‘Playstation’ and followed by another work titled ‘Habitaciones privadas’ (Private rooms) the next year.
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Major Works
‘La nave de los locos’ (The Ship of Fools) is considered by many as the most significant work of Cristina Peri Rossi. The narrative technique employed in this novel is innovative, as it imitates a travelogue. The readers see the modern world through the eyes of Equis, the protagonist in the story. The author uses the technique of ‘Ostranenie’ to give the readers a new view of commonplace things, and thus creates a satire of the modern society.
Awards and Achievements
This author has received several awards and felicitations ever since she started her literary career, such as the ‘Premio de NarrativaArca’, ‘Premio de Ciudad de Palma’, ‘John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship’, ‘Foreword Book of the Year Gold Medal Award’, ‘Premio Don Quijote de Poesía’, ‘PremioInternacional de Relatos Mario Vargas Llosa’.
In 1968, her book ‘Los museos abandonados’ (Abandoned museums) won her the ‘Premio de Narrativa Arca’ award.
She won the ‘Premio de Novela Biblioteca de Marcha’ award for her novel ‘El libro de misprimos’ the next year.
Her book ‘La últimanoche de Dostoievski’ has been shortlisted among the best 100 novels of the 20th century by America’s ‘Lemon’s List’.

This author received an award from the ‘Spain Loewe Foundation’ for her book ‘PlayStation’. She is the first woman to have received this honour.
Personal Life & Legacy
This Uruguayan author received condemnation and military oppression for her leftist ideology and political criticism. She even had to flee from her country and seek refuge in Spain, in the year 1972.
Due to the cancellation of her visa and Uruguayan citizenship, this writer had to go to exile a second time, in 1974. This time she moved to France.
She returned to Spain by the end of the year and married a citizen of Spain, which got her a citizenship of the country. However, she soon evaded her marriage as her husband was a gay.
Along with her novels, poems, stories, essays and translations, this writer also pens columns for many Spanish newspapers.
She currently works for the ‘Catalunya Radio’ station and has also compered a political commentary show on the radio.
When she spent her nights reading books in the ‘National Library’, this famous writer discovered the unconventional world of prostitutes, who were abused by drunkards, and this had driven her desire to become a writer even more.

See the events in life of Cristina Peri Rossi in Chronological Order

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