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Mr. President

By Miguel Ángel Asturias & David Unger &
Mr. President by Miguel Ángel Asturias & David Unger &  digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

“[A] brilliant translation . . . Electrifying vividness animates every page.” ―Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine

“A formidable new English translation.” ―The New Yorker

“[A] masterful translation.” ―The Washington Post

Nobel Prize–winning Guatemalan author Miguel Ángel Asturias’s masterpiece—the original Latin American dictator novel and pioneering work of magical realism—in its first new English translation in more than half a century, featuring a foreword by Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa

A Penguin Classic

In an unnamed country, an egomaniacal dictator schemes to dispose of a political adversary and maintain his grip on power. As tyranny takes hold, everyone is forced to choose between compromise and death. Inspired by life under the regime of President Manuel Estrada Cabrera of Guatemala, where it was banned for many years, and infused with exuberant lyricism, Mayan symbolism, and Guatemalan vernacular, Nobel Prize winner Miguel Ángel Asturias’s magnum opus is at once a surrealist masterpiece, a blade-sharp satire of totalitarianism, and a gripping portrait of psychological terror.

For more than seventy-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 2,000 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

About Miguel Ángel Asturias

Miguel Ángel Asturias (1899-1974) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1967. A poet, diplomat, and novelist from Guatemala, he studied law in his home country before continuing his studies in Paris, where he encountered the surrealist writings that would deeply influence his work. In addition to being a prolific writer, he worked as a newspaper correspondent in western Europe and later as an ambassador for Guatemala in Europe and Latin America. He wrote numerous works of fiction, poetry, drama, and essays, including the novels Mr. President and Men of Maize.

David Unger (translator) has received Guatemala’s Miguel Ángel Asturias National Literature Prize for Lifetime Achievement. He is the author of several novels, including The Mastermind, The Price of Escape, and Life in the Damn Tropics, and has translated more than a dozen books from Spanish into English. His short stories and essays have been published in The Paris Review, Guernica, and Bomb. Born in Guatemala, Unger now lives in Brooklyn.
Mario Vargas Llosa (foreword) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010. He has also won the Spanish-speaking world’s most distinguished literary honor, the Cervantes Prize, as well as the Jerusalem Prize and many other literary awards. His many novels include The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World, The Bad Girl, Conversation in the Cathedral, and Harsh Times. Born in Peru, Vargas Llosa now lives in Madrid.

Gerald Martin (introduction) is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor Emeritus of Modern Languages at the University of Pittsburgh. Among his publications are Gabriel García Márquez: A Life and a translation and critical edition of Miguel Ángel Asturias’s Men of Maize. Martin lives in England.

Gerald Martin

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