Harman Writer-In-Residence, Fall 2005
photo by Pia Elizondo
Francisco Goldman is the author of three novels: The Long Night of White Chickens, which won the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award; The Ordinary Seaman, which was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Fiction Prize, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner award and was named one of the “Best Hundred American Books of the Century” by Hungry Mind Review; and The Divine Husband, published in 2005. His novels have been published in 10 languages.
As a contributing editor for Harper’s, he covered Central America in the 1980s. His work has appeared in many other magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Magazine. He received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1998 and was a fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library in 2000-2001. He is a member of the executive board of American PEN.
In 2006, he will publish Who Didn’t Kill the Bishop? The Story of a Perfect Crime, a non-fiction work on the Bishop Gerardi murder case in Guatemala. (July 2005)
“When Maria de las Nieves Moran crossed from convent school to cloister to become a novice nun, it was to prevent Paquita Aparicio, her beloved childhood companion, from marrying the man both girls called “El Anticristo.” Of course, that is not the version known to history. Maria de las Nieves became one of “the English Nun’s” last two novice nuns, and took as her religious name Sor San Jorge—Slayer of Dragons, Defender of Virgins. She did understand that she was living in a time that called for acts of selfless valor, and that by her own self-sacrifice she was eternally sealing Paquita’s sacred vow not to engage in conjugal relations until she—Maria de las Nieves/Sor San Jore—had first.”
— From The Divine Husband
Francisco Goldman’s most recent work, The Art of Political Murder: Who killed the Bishop? (2007) is a nonfiction account of the assassination of Guatemalan Catholic Bishop Juan José Gerardi Conedera, a crime perpetrated by the Guatemalan military. The book was a New York Times Notable Book, and a Best Book of the Year at Washington Post Book World, The Economist, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Daily News. It won the 2008 TR Fyvel Freedom of Expression Book Award from the Index on Censorship and of the 2008 Duke University-WOLA (Washington Office on Latin America) Human Rights Book Prize. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Golden Dagger Award in non-fiction and for the inaugural Warwick Prize for Writing.
Mr. Goldman established The Aura Estrada Prize in 2008, to be given every two years to a female writer, 35 or under, who writes in Spanish and lives in the USA or Mexico. There is no comparable award available for young Spanish-language women writers anywhere else. (June 2009)