Biography

Mario Bencastro (El Salvador, 1949), is a writer and painter awarded with international prizes. He began his artistic career in painting, gaining success at an early age, exhibiting his work in more than forty-seven exhibitions in galleries and museums. He has written novels, short stories, theatre and poetry.

The Crossroads, “a reflection of modern existential crises,” was selected for the International Theatre Festival, 1989, as part of the celebration of the bicentennial of the founding of Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Shot in the Cathedral -historical and innovative- was a Finalist in the Novedades y Diana International Literary Award, Mexico, 1989. Defined by the jury (Juan José Arreola and Carlos Montemayor) as “a magnificent example of a novel, of how to deal in a profound, objective and agile way with the most difficult and intense realities of our continent”, and by Publisher’s Weekly (USA) as “a penetrating and dramatic narrative about a country in disintegration”. Tree of Life: Stories of the Civil War (1997), reflects the struggle of the common man to survive the tragedy of war, “showing Bencastro’s considerable talent for creating masterpieces in small spaces. The publication of Tree of Life: Stories of the Civil War is a memorable event. -Phillip Parotti.

Northern Odyssey, (1999), Independent Publishers Award, (Finalist), has been described as “an epic story of political oppression and exile, credible and extremely impressive”. (Kirkus Review). Portable Paradise, (2010), a collection of short stories, poetry and novels, which relives the impact of war and the need to leave one’s homeland due to violence and poverty. La mansión del olvido, (2015), won the International Latino Book Award 2016, USA, as the “Best Historical Fiction Novel”. Featured by the Library Journal as an “essential book for all libraries”.

In Waves of the East River, Mario Bencastro evokes the memory of the river and the financial district of New York converted into a personal and poetic mythology, in a lyrical journey through historical places and events with fictional and biblical characters, following in the footsteps of Walt Whitman and Federico García Lorca.