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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 (mss): 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


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 photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

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