Luis Rafael Sánchez 1936–
Puerto Rican novelist, poet, short story writer, and dramatist.
Sánchez is considered a significant dramatist in Puerto Rico where his plays have been performed since the late 1950s. He is best known in the United States for his acclaimed first novel, Macho Camacho's Beat.
Sánchez's novel is a portrait of Puerto Rico as a society in a state of spiritual decay, its members corrupted by their obsession with the products of American popular culture, simultaneously funny and pathetic in their inability to communicate meaningfully with one another. It is a sociopolitical work in its indictment of American and European colonialism as the cause of what Sánchez clearly considers the death of a culture.
The structuring of Macho Camacho's Beat has been compared to that of James Joyce's Ulysses and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. In Sánchez's novel, "nothing happens." Characters are not so much developed as they are presented in their various locales speaking a language that is a bizarre mixture of American cliché and Puerto Rican slang. Through monologue, dialogue, and quickly shifted and juxtaposed shots of Puerto Rican society, Sánchez creates a fictional world that is credible and, in the opinion of many critics, engrossing.