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Collection Overview

Leñero, Vicente
Vicente Leñero Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
30 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-30


The Vicente Leñero Papers contain materials pertaining to the Mexican playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Vicente Leñero (1933- ). Included are manuscripts, correspondence, and printed material.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Vicente Leñero Papers represents Leñero's work as a playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and essayist from the late 1950s to the present day. The majority of materials consist of typed and autograph manuscripts of novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts and essays. The notebooks provide access to the earlier stages of some of Leñero's published or performed works, and feature poems, drawings, ephemera and personal notes as well. Leñero provided an inventory list detailing the contents of the collection. This inventory was critical to identifying and describing materials, and has been included [Box 1, Folder 1].

In addition to the manuscripts there is a sizeable amount of correspondence from friends and professional associates, including letters from José Emilio Pacheco and Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and printed material highlighting Leñero's early days as a writer.


Organized into the following series and subseries:

Collection Creator Biography:

Leñero, Vicente

Vicente Leñero was born on June 9, 1933, in Guadalajara, Mexico, though his family returned to Mexico City shortly after his birth. Leñero earned a degree as a civil engineer from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and later studied journalism. He married his wife Estela in 1959 and they had four daughters. In his essay "Vivir del cuento" Leñero describes the obsessive approach he took to writing when he was just starting out, when he wrote "without knowing, without thinking," banging away at his brother's Remington typewriter. He published his first collection of short stories, La polvareda, y otras cuentos in 1959, winning first prize in the Concurso Nacional del Cuento Universitario for the collection's eponymous story. Four years later, in 1963, Leñero was awarded the Premio Biblioteca Breve for his novel, Los albañiles, which he later adapted for the stage.

In subsequent decades Leñero has produced a critically acclaimed and expansive body of work, including novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts and essays. Although he evolved independent of any specific literary circle or milieu, as co-founder of the magazine Proceso, Leñero's place as a leading intellectual in Mexico is undisputed. Considered a champion of documentary theater and fiction based in real-life events, Leñero has defied easy categorization as a writer, though among his many achievements Leñero is considered one of Mexico's most important playwrights of the twentieth century. In later years Leñero has written prodigiously for Mexican cinema, and his credits include: La ley de Herodes (1999); El crímen del Padre Amaro (2003); Fuera del cielo (2006); Desde dentro (2012).


Leñero, Vicente. De cuerpo entero. Mexico City: UNAM, 1992.

Day, Stuart A. "Vicente Leñero." Latin American Dramatists: First Series. Ed. Adam Versaenyi. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 305. Detroit: Gale, 2005. From Literature Resource Center.

Collection History


Purchased from Vicente Leñero in April 2012 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jill Baron in July 2012. Finding aid written by Jill Baron in July 2012 with the assistance of James Clark '15.

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:

Vicente Leñero 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 1-30