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Juan Bosch Gaviño: 1909-2001: Author, Politician

Wrote Early Stories About Rural Peasants

Gaviño's primary school teacher in La Vega, musician Rafael Martínez, instilled in him a concern for the future of the country and the world. Gaviño was drawing, sculpting, and writing by the age of nine. As a teenager he published a small newspaper in La Vega and published his first short story at age 14. Gaviño graduated with a degree in literature from the University of Santo Domingo.

Gaviño's earliest short stories were published in the newspaper Listín Diario and the journal Bohoruco. A small publishing house in La Vega printed 500 copies of his first story collection, Camino real, in 1933. It included one of his best-known stories, "La mujer," about a woman who is abused by her husband after using their meager resources to feed their young son.

Gaviño's first nonfiction, Indios: Apuntes históricos y leyendas, was published in 1935. His first novel, La mañosa: Novela de las revoluciones, published in 1936, was semi-autobiographical. A classic of Dominican literature, it dealt with the political and social issues that became the hallmark of Gaviño's work.

Although Gaviño cited Don Quixote, The Brothers Karamazov, and Huckleberry Finn as important influences on his work, as a short-story writer he emulated Rudyard Kipling, Guy de Maupassant, and Oscar Wilde. He was a part of the criollismo, a neorealist, Spanish-American literary movement that was influential between the end of World War I and the late 1940s. Like so many other Latin American authors, Gaviño linked his art to social and nationalistic issues. He emphasized plot over character development, used symbolism, poetic descriptions, and colloquial dialogue, while promoting Dominican popular culture. As campesinos began moving into the overcrowded capitals of Latin America, Gaviño incorporated this new urban underclass into his stories.

At a Glance . . .

Born Juan Bosch Gaviño on June 30, 1909, in La Vega, Dominican Republic; died on November 1, 2001, in Santo Domingo; son of José Bosch and Angela Gaviño Bosch; married second wife Carmen Quidiello, 1941; children: León, Patricio, Barbarita, and one other. Education: University of Santo Domingo, BA, literature, 1920s. Religion: Roman Catholic. Politics: Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, 1939-73; Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, 1973-01.

Career: Author of short stories, novels, essays, histories, biographies, political treatises, 1929-00; Cuban journalist, c.1939-52; Cuban government, advisor, c.1944-52; Institute of Political Education, San Isidro del Coronado, Costa Rica, professor, c.1952-58; Dominican Republic government, president, 1963; University of Puerto Rico, professor, c.1963-70.

Memberships: Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, founder, political committee head, and president, 1939-66; Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, founder and leader, 1973-94.

Awards: Juegos Florales Hispanoamericanos (Dominican Republic), first place award, 1940; Hernández Catá prize, 1943; FNAC Foundation (France), short story award, 1988; José Martí Order (Cuba), 1989; honorary degree, New York City College, 1993.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) BiographyJuan Bosch Gaviño: 1909-2001: Author, Politician Biography - Wrote Early Stories About Rural Peasants, Exiled For 24 Years, Became Politically Active, Short Presidency Impeded By International Factions