October 19, 2004
Francisco Goldman, prize-winning Guatemalan-American fiction writer and journalist, is the author of three acclaimed novels about cultural and political conflict in the Americas. The son of a Guatemalan mother and a Jewish-American father, Goldman grew up in Guatemala City and Needham, Massachusetts.
Critics have hailed Goldman as one of the freshest and most original new voices in American fiction.
"One of the most exciting and ambitious novelists currently exploring the form." - "Newsday"
[a] "talented author [who] acts as literary emissary between North America and its seething Hispanic underbelly." - "Guardian" (UK)
Goldman's newest book is "The Divine Husband" (September 2004), a kaleidoscopic novel set in both Central America and New York City in the 19th century. Replete with political intrigue and rich historical detail, the novel follows the loves and adventures of María de las Nieves Moran, a former novice nun who is romantically entangled with a variety of suitors, including real-life revolutionary José Martí.". . .a multifaceted, brilliantly satirical tale populated by compelling and diverse characters, and laced with piquant riffs on everything from miscegenation to hot-air balloons." - "Booklist"
Goldman astonished critics with his brilliant, original first novel, "The Long Night of White Chickens" (1992), a complex tale about an American, Roger Graetz, who travels to Guatemala to investigate the murder of his friend and former housekeeper, Flor de Mayo Puac. "The Long Night of White Chickens" received the Sue Kaufman Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. It was also listed as one of the 100 best American books of the 20th century, by the "Hungry Mind Review."
"Francisco Goldman's beautiful first novel is at once a story about a boy growing up in two cultures, a love story and a mystery about an unsolved murder. It is a meditation, investigation and chronicle written in a lyrical, evocative English...." - "Boston Globe"
Goldman's second novel, "The Ordinary Seaman" (1996), was a finalist for both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Based on an actual incident, the novel tells the story of fifteen Central American men who come to New York to work on a dry-docked, rusting and rat-infested American ship.
"An imaginative tour de force, a spectacular achievement by any standards." - "Chicago Tribune"
"I can't recommend this book highly enough... 'The Ordinary Seaman' does credit to the novelistic form, yielding up mysterious, vivid worlds, seldom seen but always there. It's just great. I loved it." - Carolyn See, "Washington Post"
As a journalist, Goldman has covered the politics of Central America for "Harper's," the "New Yorker," the "New York Times" and the "New York Review of Books." Since 1998, Goldman has written many articles about the "Bishop Gerardi Murder Case," and is currently completing a new book on the subject. On the night of April 26, 1998, Monseñor Juan José Gerardi Conedera, a celebrated human rights activist and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Guatemala, was brutally murdered in his home by members of the Guatemalan military. The book is due to be published in 2005.
Francisco Goldman holds the Allan K. Smith Chair in Literature at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and divides his time between New York City and Mexico City.