The Top Contemporary Writers from Guatemala

Guatemala flag
Guatemala flag | © RonnyK / Pixabay
Photo of Jack Guy
24 May 2018

Guatemala has a rich literary history, and one that continues to this day. Here are some of the best contemporary writers to keep an eye on.

Kite detail in Guatemala | © Steven dosRemedios / Flickr

Aida Toledo

Currently one of the biggest names in Guatemalan literature, Toledo is known for her feminist writings in books such as Pezóculos. Definitely one to watch at an important time for the feminist movement in Central America.

Carol Zardetto

Born in 1959, Zardetto lived through the whole of the Guatemalan Civil War. In addition to writing the highly-regarded novel Con pasion absoluta, she is known for scriptwriting and also worked as a diplomat and government minister.

Javier Payeras

A big part of the Postwar Generation, Payeras is a poet, novelist and essayist. His last book was a collection of poems called Esta es la historia / Azul Cobalto, published in 2018.

A poster commemorates deposed president Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala City | © Lesther Castillo / Flickr

Javier Mosquera Saravia

This author was forced to flee Guatemala during the civil war due to his revolutionary beliefs, but he kept writing during his time in Mexico. Look out for Espirales, Laberintos y Rompecabezas, and Angelica en la ventana.

Alan Mills

In 2017 the young Guatemalan writer was named one of the best in Latin America by the Hay Festival. His most famous books include Los nombres ocultos and Poemas sensibles.

The market at Almolonga, Guatemala | Ⓒ Gusjer / Flickr

Victor Perera

Guatemalan-born Perera might have moved to the United States when he was 12 years old, but the country of his birth remained an obsession throughout his career. He wrote a number of books on Maya communities, including The Last Lords of Palenque and Unfinished Conquest, as well as a fictionalized account of his childhood years called Rites: A Guatemalan Boyhood.

Luz Méndez de la Vega

A noted feminist writer and academic, Méndez de la Vega won many literary awards throughout her career. She is particularly well-known for her work on Guatemalan women from the colonial period.

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