Biography of Roberto Bolano

Roberto Bolano was born in Santiago, Chile and was a vagabond for much of his young life, living in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain before settling there. He died in 2003 after a decade-long struggle with liver disease.

Bolano's controversial life included a period in which he returned to Chile in order to support the leftist overthrow of the brutal Pinochet regime. He was imprisoned for several days and finally expelled from the country. He also helped found a poetry society in Europe dedicated to the promotion of communism.

Though he wrote for most of his life, and dedicated much of his work to poetry, his novels only began being published in the 1990's. He gained a wide readership in Europe and Latin America, but his books only began to be widely read in their English translations after his death.

He is the author of nine novels and two story collections, the most important of which are "The Savage Detectives," "By Night in Chile," and "2666." He won many prizes including the Premio Herralde de Novela and the Premio Romulo Gallegos. After his death, many hailed him as one of the most important Latin American authors of his generation.

Study Guides on Works by Roberto Bolano

Roberto Bolano's "By Night in Chile" is considered one of the great contemporary classics from South America. It is the story of Sebastian Urrutia Lacroix, a Chilean priest who, on his deathbed, confesses to his collusion and association with the...

Particularities of the author:

Until 1995, Bolaño was a practically unknown author. Finding himself in a precarious economic situation, he sent the manuscript of “Nazi literature in America” to various publishers, finally being accepted by Seix...

Written by Chilean author Roberto Bolano, The Savage Detectives tells the story of the search for a Mexican poet from the 1920s called Cesárea Tinajero. The novel is set in the late 1970s and chronicles two Latin poets' search for the Tinajero...