The Villagers is a story of the ruthless exploitation and extermination of an Indian village of Ecuador by its greedy landlord. First published in , it is here available for the first time in an authorized English translation. Deeply moving in the dramatic intensity of its relentless evolution and stark human suffering, Icaza's novel has been translated into eleven foreign languages, including Russian and Chinese, and has gone through numerous editions in Spanish, including a revised and enlarged edition in , on which this translation is based, but it has never before been authorized for translation into English. His first novel, but not his first published work, The Villagers is still considered by most critics as Icaza's best, and it is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant works in contemporary Latin American literature.

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Icaza started writing for the theatre, but when he was censured for a dramatic script, El dictador, he turned his attention, and his indignation, to the novel. He gained immediate fame and generated much controversy with his first novel, Huasipungo ; rev. The book depicts the manner in which the Indians are deprived of their huasipungo and then slaughtered when they rebel against their oppressors. It was greeted with outrage by the upper classes in Ecuador and quickly became a left-wing propaganda implement.

Some critics have called the work mere propaganda, and others fault its construction. But its powerful language has led many critics to acclaim it as a masterpiece of realism. Icaza continued to dramatize the struggles of the poor in novels, and he never stopped writing for the theatre. Over the same period Icaza also wrote numerous plays. His themes as well as his realistic style influenced a generation of writers in Ecuador and throughout Latin America.

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Jorge Icaza

Jorge Icaza Coronel June 10, — May 26, , commonly referred to as Jorge Icaza , was a writer from Ecuador , best known for his novel Huasipungo , which brought attention to the exploitation of Ecuador's indigenous people by Ecuadorian whites. He was born in Quito in and died of cancer in the same city in Jorge Icaza's literary career began as a playwright. After his playscript, El Dictador , was censured, Icaza turned his attention to writing novels about the social conditions in Ecuador, particularly the oppression suffered by its indigenous people. With the publication of Huasipungo in , Icaza achieved international fame. Fragments of the book first appeared in English translation in Russia , where it was welcomed enthusiastically by Russia's peasant socialist class. Jorge Icaza was later appointed Ecuador's ambassador to Russia.


Jorge Icaza Coronel

Huasipungo hispanicized spelling from Kichwa wasipunku or wasi punku , wasi house, punku door, [1] "house door" is a novel by Jorge Icaza of Ecuador. Huasipungo became a well-known " Indigenist " novel, a movement in Latin American literature that preceded Magical Realism and emphasized brutal realism. Huasipungo is often compared to John Steinbeck 's Grapes of Wrath from , as both are works of social protest. Besides the first edition of , Huasipungo went through two more editions or complete rewritings in Spanish, , , , the first of which was difficult for even natives of other Hispanic countries to read and the last the definitive version.



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