Gioconda Belli nacida en Managua, Nicaragua es poeta y novelista. Es autora de siete novelas: La Mujer Habitada, Sofia de los Presagios, Waslala, El Pergamino de la Seducción, El Infinito en la Palma de la Mano, El País de las Mujeres, El Intenso Calor de la Luna; un libro de memorias: El País bajo mi piel ocho libros de poesía: Sobre la Grama, Línea de Fuego, De truenos y arco iris, De la costilla de Eva, Apogeo, Mi Intima Multitud, Fuego Soy apartado y espada puesta lejos, y En la Avanzada Juventud. También es autora de los cuentos para niños: El Taller de las Mariposas, Cuando Floreció la Risa, y el Apretado abrazo de la enredadera. Ganó en 1978 el Premio Casa de las América en Cuba por su libro “Linea de Fuego” y el Premio a la mejor Novela Política del Año en Alemania en 1989 por su libro “La Mujer Habitada”. Su memoria “El País bajo mi piel” fue finalista del Los Angeles Times Book Prize en 2003. Por su novela “El Infinito en la Palma de la Mano” recibió en 2008 y 2009 los premios Biblioteca Breve de Seix Barral y Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz de la FIL, Guadalajara. En 2010, su novela “El País de las Mujeres” ganó el Premio Latinoamericano “La Otra Orilla”. Su novela más reciente es “El Intenso Calor de la Luna”, finalista del Premio Mario Vargas Llosa de novela en 2015. Por su poesía ha recibido el Premio Generación del 27 y el Ciudad de Melilla. Sus obras han sido traducidas a 20 idiomas. Es Presidente de PEN Internacional, capítulo Nicaragua y miembro de la Real Academia de la Lengua, capítulo Nicaragua. El gobierno de Francia le otorgó el nombramiento de Chevalier de les Arts et les Lettres. Es madre de cuatro hijos. Reside en Managua.
GIOCONDA BELLI (Managua, Nicaragua)
Gioconda Belli is one of contemporary Central America’s best known writers and one of the few women writers from this region whose works have been translated and published in the United States and throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Belli’s literary career has from its beginning been intimately connected to her political life and the political life of her country, Nicaragua. The Sandinista revolution, which ousted the dictator Somoza in 1979, generated widespread international solidarity in the 1970s and 1980s. The image of youthful Sandinista revolutionaries who were often poets, artists and intellectuals, appealed to many and Gioconda Belli was one of the revolution’s most articulate spokespersons. She held various government positions, working primarily in communications, journalism and public relations. Her commitment to the revolutionary ideal of working together to create a more just society is unquestionably at the heart of her writing, both poetry and fiction.
Her early poetry, particularly Sobre la grama, primarily celebrates womanhood. Some of her recurring poetic themes include rebellion from female stereotypes, a vindication of the pleasures of being female, the beauty and satisfactions of all the stages of motherhood and the irrepressible longing to live a full, creative, committed life. Her lyric voice also embraces a self who passionately loves her small, impoverished, tropical country and hopes her poems will inspire others to dare to dream of and fight for a better life in a free and equitable society. In her books of poetry, Apogeo, and her later works she celebrates mature womanhood in poems that are sensual and self-confident and that challenge stereotypes of older women.
Belli published her first novel, La mujer habitada, in 1988, shortly after she resigned her political appointments to become a full time writer. It is the story of a young, middle-class woman who joins the underground resistance and struggles to define her role in it in the face of her lover’s objections and her own middle class values and prejudices. Elements of magic and indigenous history and myth are woven into the plot and foreshadow her next novel, Sofía de las presagios, in which a young woman rebels against traditional society with the aid of a local medicine woman. Waslala (1996), is a futuristic novel that addresses the urgent issues of environmental destruction and the fate of small, impoverished nations. The protagonist is a young woman who travels in search of her mother, who had left home many years earlier to help found a utopian community in a remote part of the country. Her quest teaches her the value of having a vision of a better world and the beauty of living one’s life committed to its realization. In 2001, Belli published El país bajo mi piel, (The Country Under my Skin), subtitled memoirs of love and war, an intimate retelling of the history of the Sandinista movement and her participation in the historic events it precipitated. The book was a finalist at The Los Angeles Times Book Awards. In 2005, her historical novel, The Scroll of Seduction was published in Europe and the U.S. The novel vindicates the famous Spanish Queen
Juana of Castile, better known as Juana The Mad, and juxtaposes her story with that of a young girl who is seduced by a history professor in the process of telling her Queen Juana’s story. Her following work was a retelling of the story of Adam and Eve: Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand,(2008) where Belli combined her talent as a poet with this ancient creation myth which she manages to recreate so provocatively as to reveal a link between the imagination of men and the theory of evolution. For this novel she was awarded one of the most prestigious prizes in the Spanish language: the Biblioteca Breve Prize and also the Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Prize from the Guadalajara Book Fair. In 2010, she won the Latin American Prize “La Otra Orilla” for her novel, Chronicles of the Erotic Left (El País de las Mujeres). Her most recent novel is El Intenso Calor de la Luna, that deals with a protagonist going through menopause and the empty nest and realizing she has a chance to empower herself and do all the things she postponed to be a mother. This novel was published in 2015 in Spain, Latin America (Seix-Barral, Planeta) German (Droemmer) and Italian (Feltrinelli)
All of her works since 1995 have been published in Nicaragua as well as abroad. Her writing has been translated into many languages, including French, English, Italian, German, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, French, Greek, Dutch, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, Serbian, Estonian, Chinese and Finnish. From 1992 she lived in Los Angeles, California with her husband, Charles Castaldi. She returned to Nicaragua in 2013. While her writing continues to reflect and incorporate the realities of Nicaragua, the depth of her themes and the originality of her voice have justifiably earned her recognition as a writer of international stature.
She is President of PEN, Nicaragua and member of the Nicaraguan Chapter of the Spanish Royal Academy of Letters. She was awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.
Amor insurrecto. 1985./Editorial Nueva Nicaragua
Poesía reunida, 1989./Editorial Diana, México
El ojo de la mujer. 1991./Editorial Visor, Madrid
Escándalo de Miel, 2010: Seix Barral, Spain; Planeta: Latin America
Sobre la grama. 1972. /Ediciones Indesa, Managua
Línea de fuego. 1978./ Casa de las Americas, Cuba
De la costilla de Eva. 1987,(From Eve’s Rib, Curbstone Press– translated by Steven F. White.)
Apogeo. 1998./Editorial Visor, Madrid
Mi íntima multitud, 2002/ Editorial Visor, Madrid
Fuego soy apartado y espada puesta lejos, 2007/Editorial Visor, Madrid
La mujer habitada. 1988, (The Inhabited Woman//translated by Kathleen March, 1994): Curbstone Press, Warner Books and Wisconsin University Press, translated also in German, Italian, Dutch, Finnish, Danish, Arab, Chinese, Russian, Greek, Turkish, Euskera
Sofía de las presagios. 1990/ Editorial Anama/Planeta/Peter Hammer Verlag/e/o edizioni, De Geus, Record
Waslala. 1996./Emecé-Planeta, Peter Hammer Verlag, De Geus, e/o edizioni
El Pergamino de la Seduccion, 2005/Editorial Seix Barral/Planeta, Rizzoli, De Geus, Peter Hammer Verlag, Norsdstat, DTV (Germany)Russian edition.
El País de las Mujeres;(2010) Seix Barral, Droemer, Feltrinelli, De Geus, Brasil, Portugal
El Intenso Calor de la Luna (2014) Seix Barral, Droemer, Feltrinelli
El taller de las mariposas (for children). 1994. Peter Hammer Verlag (Germany) , De Geus (Holland), E/O Italy, Europa Editions (US), Spain, Brasil, France, Cataluña
El país bajo mi piel (memoirs), 2001, The Country under my Skin translated by Kristina Cordero, Knopf/Vintage, Hanser Verlag (Germany), Bibliophane (France), Bloomsbury (England), Plaza Janes, Txalaparta, Seix Barral (Spain and Latin America) De Geus (Holland) E/O, Italy, Planeta
El Apretado abrazo de la enredadera (2006) (for children) Peter Hammer Verlag (Germany)
1972: Mariano Fiallos Gil Poetry Prize –National University, Nicaragua
1978: Casa de las Americas Poetry Prize- Casa de las Americas, Cuba
1989: Editors, Booksellers “Friedrich Ebhert” Best Political Novel of the Year, West Berlin
1989: Anna Sheguers Prize- East Berlin
2001: Finalist Los Angeles Times Book Awards
2003: V Premio Internacional de Poesía, “Generación del 27”, Granada, Spain
2007: XXVIII Premio Internacional de Poesía, “Ciudad de Melilla”, Spain
2008: Premio Biblioteca Breve, Spain
2009: Premio Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Feria del Libro Guadalajara, México
2010: Premio de Novela Iberoamericano, “La Otra Orilla”
2014: Chevalier de les Arts et les Lettres, French Government
2015: Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at Bellagio, Italy
Biographical info from the Reference Guide to World Literature
Entry by Janet Gold
Updated by G. Belli, 2015