Manlio Argueta Critical Essays


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Manlio Argueta 1936–

Salvadoran novelist.

Argueta gained attention in the English-speaking world with Un día en la vida (1980; One Day of Life). This novel depicts the civil strife in present-day El Salvador, particularly the conflict between peasants and the special government force that polices them. Critical reaction to One Day of Life was mixed. Some considered it excessively moralistic and one-sided in its presentation of the brutalities inflicted upon peasants. However, others found the novel timely and claimed that is accurately and realistically depicts the social chaos and horrors of civil war. The government of El Salvador banned One Day of Life and forced Argueta to leave his native land. Argueta currently lives in exile in Costa Rica.