Literature of Nicaragua can be traced to pre-Columbian times with the myths and oral literature that formed the cosmogonic view of the world that indigenous people had. Some of these stories are still known in Nicaragua. Like many Latin American countries, the Spanish conquerors have had the most effect on both the culture and the literature. Nicaraguan literature has historically been an important source of poetry in the Spanish-speaking world, with internationally renowned contributors such as Rubén Darío who is regarded as the most important literary figure in Nicaragua, referred to as the "Father of Modernism" for leading the modernismo literary movement at the end of the 19th century. Other literary figures include Ernesto Cardenal, Gioconda Belli, Claribel Alegría and José Coronel Urtecho, among others.
Our book recommendation of the month
Sergio Ramirez - A Thousand Deaths Plus One
A Thousand Deaths Plus One is an elaborate fiction that stakes itself firmly in the real. A fascinating set of stories and bits of history, it also neatly addresses the issue of capturing history and human fates, in photographs or in writing -- both documentary and fictional. Well worthwhile
About the author:
Sergio Ramírez Mercado is a leading Nicaraguan writer and intellectual who served in the leftist Government Junta of National Reconstruction and as Vice President of the country 1985-1990 under the presidency of Daniel Ortega.
Born in Masatepe in 1942, he published his first book, Cuentos, in 1963. He graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua of León in 1964, where he obtained the Gold Medal for being the best student.
In 1977 Ramírez became head of the "Group of Twelve", a group of prominent intellectuals, priests, businesspeople, and members of civil society who publicly stated their support for the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) in its struggle to topple the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. With the triumph of the Revolution in 1979, he became part of the Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction, where he presided over the National Council of Education. He was elected vice-president of Nicaragua in 1984 and was sworn in 1985.
Though the FSLN lost power to the UNO coalition headed by Violeta Barrios de Chamorro in 1990, Ramírez continued to serve as the leader of the Sandinista block in the National Assembly until 1995, when he founded the Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista (MRS) because of his differences with other leaders of the FSLN, such as former president Daniel Ortega, on issues of democratic reform. He has since become retrospectively critical of certain Sandinista policies that he views as having turned the country against the FSLN. He made an unsuccessful bid for president on the MRS ticket in 1996. Since then, Ramírez has retired definitively from politics. He currently lives in Managua, Nicaragua..
Even during his years in politics, Sergio Ramírez continued to publish his work, for which he has won numerous awards and distinctions.