The 1960s in Central America, as in most parts of the world, was a period of intense political mobilization and social change. In “Arias de don Giovanni” (F&G Editores, June 2010) Arturo Arias, professor of Latin American literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, explores the consequences of the Central American diaspora in both the United States and Europe during this time of great transition.
Tracing a series of pivotal events during the 1960s – from the Cuban Revolution to mass exile – Arias describes how Central Americans abandoned all hope of ever living again in an idealized community in their homeland. He also examines how those experiences loosened their inner demons and transformed their social behavior in radical ways.
“The ensuing despair leads to a loss of perspective, with catastrophic consequences for the main characters,” Arias says. “Since it is a diasporic novel, it takes us to California, Spain, Brazil and Mexico, but all sentimental yearnings for stability and lost innocence are rooted in Guatemala.”
Arias will present “Arias de don Giovanni” (Spanish edition) on Nov. 29 at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, the second largest book expo in the world.