Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Monterroso, Augusto
Augusto Monterroso Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1921-2003 (mostly 1972-1996)
53 boxes and 24.6 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-53
Spanish; Castilian English


This collection contains the manuscripts, correspondence, drawings, and other papers of twentieth-century Guatemalan author Augusto Monterroso, who spent most of his life as a writer in Mexico.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection contains notes and drafts of Monterroso's books, essays, short stories, and other writings; his notebooks; extensive personal and business correspondence; his drawings; photographs of Monterroso, family, and friends; and family papers.

Collection Creator Biography:

Monterroso, Augusto

Augusto Monterroso was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on December 21, 1921. An autodidact from the age of eleven, he spent his adolescence in Guatemala City, Guatemala, where he worked clandestinely against the dictatorship of Jorge Ubico and co-founded the newspaper El Espectador. His political activities led to his detainment and exile to Mexico City in 1944. Later that year, when Jacobo Arbenz became president of Guatemala, Monterroso was appointed to a position in the Guatemalan embassy in Mexico. In 1953, he was named Guatemalan consul to Bolivia and moved briefly to La Paz before relocating to Santiago, Chile, upon Arbenz's fall from power. In 1956, Monterroso returned to Mexico City, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Monterroso's first stories were published in 1941, in the periodicals Acento and El Imparcial. The short story remained his primary form, and his first book, Obras completas (y otros cuentos), includes what is widely regarded as the world's shortest story, "El dinosaurio," comprised of a single seven-word sentence. Other published works include La oveja negra y demás fabulas; La letra e; Monterroso's only novel, Lo demás es silencio; and his memoirs, Los buscadores de oro. In addition to his writing career, Monterroso taught at la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Stanford University and held a variety of editorial positions.

Awards received by Monterroso during his lifetime include the Premio Javier Villaurrutia (1975), Premio Juan Rulfo (1996), Quetzal de Jade Maya (1996), Guatemala's Premio Nacional de Literatura (1997), and Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras (2000). Additionally, la Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala awarded Monterroso an honorary doctorate in 1996. Monterroso died in Mexico City in 2003.

Collection History


Purchased from Barbara Jacobs in 2006 (AM2006-127).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Danielle Ford in 2006. Finding aid written by Danielle Ford in January 2007.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Augusto Monterroso Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-53