Diego Muñoz (Constitución, Chile, 1956) is one of Latin America’s main flash fiction contemporary exponents and has cultivated this style since the mid 70's. He has published thirteen books of short stories, six novels, and has been included in more than eighty anthologies and literary samples published in Chile and abroad. His work has been translated into Chinese, Bulgarian, Croatian, French, Italian, English, Russian, Icelandic and Mapudungun.
He has been distinguished in numerous literary contests, among them the Best Literary Work Award of the National Book Council (Chile) in 1994 and 1996. In 2011, he was selected among the “25 Latin American literary secrets waiting to be discovered” by FIL Guadalajara (Mexico) to celebrate the 25th version of the fair. He also won the Hummingbird Medal (IBBY Chile) for Best Youth Book in 2012 for the illustrated micro-story book “Breviario Minimo”. In 2019, his book “Demonios Vagos” (游荡的魔鬼) was sold to China and later published by Lijiang Publishing Limited with the title of ”Sale of Illusions”(出售幻觉).
“In a world similar to our own, although also very different, lives someone who we’ll call Eri. Eri has grown tired of the eternal repetition of cycles.
He couldn’t keep being the same as he had been until then; that's why he decided to start the journey. He put some clothes in his suitcase, some select books and huge hopes of finding something that could satisfy his curiosity. Or something that made him feel less alone in the immense and unknown world…”
Eri began his journey looking for something he didn't know what it was. He walked and walked and, on his path, found a sleeping colossus, a dangerous iridescent rooster, dogs fond of extravagant games and evil pygmies.
A gallery of mad, sad, ferocious and tender beings, eager to experience love and hate.
Diego Muñoz Valenzuela is one of the most important short storytellers in Latin America. On this trip with Eri, we are touched and surprised.
The book compiles ten stories that appeal to memory, recalling the heroism of youth, dreams, loves, hopes and frustrations, with a patina of melancholy.
This set of stories - whose plots cover the years of dictatorship and the transition to democracy during the 90s - showcases the recent history of Chile. The horror of state violence, secret prisons, intelligence services, the Constitution of 1980 and the installation of neoliberalism, the handover of state companies at the price of eggs. Then, the demobilization of citizens, the exacerbation of individualism, the fierce market empire, the false neoliberal promise to produce wealth for all, the delusion of making Chile the jaguar of Latin America, the privatization of everything, the disappearance of the State, the management of the media.
In short: when the virus of senselessness corrodes old and modern spaces, when those invisible enemies are mimicked in a ruthless neoliberalism whose only goal continues to be unbridled greed, this recreated mise-en-scène by Diego Muñoz represents a timeless leap forward, while at the same time it frankly warns us of the dangers of societies devoid of an essential element: their spirit of brotherhood.
The author of this book, the storyteller Diego Muñoz, has cultivated the genre of flash fiction since the mid-1970s and is one of its main contemporary exponents in Chile and Latin America.
“Wandering Demons” is an anthology of his work compiled by Professor Cristián Montes (PhD. in Literature, University of Chile), specifically addressed to young readers. The anthology is composed of short stories published in 7 different books, where it is possible to appreciate diverse stylistic and expressive registers. One of them is the fantasy genre. In accordance with Cortázar's style, the entry into the fantastic is presented as a rupture with the coordinates of the reality described or as an extension of it.
As for the discourse of ideas deployed in the various short stories, there is a predominance, explicitly but also silent about the denunciation of what happened in Chile during the military dictatorship. The dictatorial period, the still prevailing social trauma and the need for collective mourning are thematic elements re-elaborated by the discourse of ideas from various angles of significance.
In 2011 the author was selected among the "25 Latin American literary treasures waiting to be discovered" by the Guadalajara Book Fair to celebrate its 25 years of existence.