International Banned Book Pick: One Day of Life by Manlio Argueta

One Day of Life (Spanish: Un Dia en la Vida) is a novel by Salvadoran author Manlio Argueta. The novel is set in Chalatenango, El Salvador and follows the daily life of Guadalupe Guardado and the women of her family just prior to the Salvadoran Civil War. The book was banned by the government of El Salvador after its 1980 release for its descriptions of human rights violations by the Organización Democrática Nacionalista, the government’s paramilitary intelligence organization.[1][2]

Argueta spent over 20 years exiled in Costa Rica following arrests for his involvement in political activity against the government.[1] One Day of Life was published in 1980, the year of the beginning of the Salvadoran Civil War.

One Day of Life was nominated by Modern Library as the fifth-best Latin American book of the 20th century. The Salvadoran newspaper El Diario de Hoy expressed doubt in the nomination. Other critics expressed disapproval of Argueta’s novel being selected higher than popular writers like Ernesto Sabato and Alejo Carpentier.[2]

[Text quoted from Wikipedia]

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