Antonio Díaz Oliva

Antonio Díaz Oliva or ADO (Temuco, Chile) is the author of the non-fiction book Piedra Roja: El mito del Woodstock chileno, the novel La soga de los muertos, the short stories La experiencia formativa, and editor of Estados Hispanos de América: nueva narrativa latinoamericana made in USA. He received the Roberto Bolaño Young Writers Award and the National Book Award by the National Book Council of Chile. His journalism and essays have been published in Qué Pasa, Rolling Stone, La Tercera, Gatopardo, Letras Libre and El Malpensante. He has been awarded fellowships from New York University, the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation, Fulbright, and the Council for Culture and the Arts in Chile. He currently teaches Spanish and Creative Writing at Georgetown University. He also runs bilingual workshops at 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students with their creative and expository writing skills.

He has worked as a freelance journalist, translator, ghostwriter, and college professor in Bogotá, Santiago de Chile, Washington DC, and New York City. 


DiazOliva_LaSogaDeLosMuertosLa soga de los muertos (Tether)

Alfaguara, 2011 / 188 pages

English sample translation available

“A highly playful literary debut, with terse, elegant prose reminiscent of Díaz Oliva’s co-national Roberto Bolaño. A major new talent.”                     Thomas Bunstead, translator

“Antonio is able to construct a captivating story with a writing closer  to image than narration, pretending -with success- novel is a teenager journal that condense a complete Chilean generation from the nineties.” Rolling Stone magazine

A grassroots campaign for Chile’s most famous poet, Nicanor Parra, to win the Nobel Prize; a badly translated edition of Allen Ginsberg’s Yage Letters; a Quechua tribe’s holy plant, revered for its mystical qualities; a young boy looking for his father in modern day Santiago de Chile. Tether explores the possible links between these threads.

1960. The American poet Allen Ginsberg visits Chile. He travel to the southern side of the country, meet the national bohemian and, among other things, get lost in the middle of a forest in search of a psychedelic experience.

1994. A group of dreamers initiates an unusual campaign for getting Nicanor Parra the Nobel Prize of Literature. They paint walls, hand out pamphlets in protests and meet clandestinely in a apartment of Santiago´s downtown. That same year, the young protagonist of this novel starts a log book in which he writes the strangeness of a daily change of tables in the balcony of a department that he sees on the way to school, the problems created with the arrival of Tanenbaum brothers at his school, and the suspicious disappearance of his father.

A literary crusade that falters, a lonely child on his way to adolescence and a beatnik poet hunting the perfect hallucinogenic trip.