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Ariel Dorfman

Vladimiro Ariel Dorfman is a Chilean-American novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist. A citizen of the United States since 2004, he has been a professor of literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina since 1985.

From 1970 to 1973, Dorfman served as a cultural advisor to president Salvador Allende. During this time he wrote, with Armand Mattelart, a legendary critique of North American cultural imperialism, How to Read Donald Duck. Forced to leave Chile in 1973, after the coup by General Augusto Pinochet leading to the death of President Salvador Allende, he subsequently lived in Paris, Amsterdam, and Washington, D.C. Since 1985 he has taught at Duke University, where he is currently Walter Hines Page Research Professor of Literature and Professor of Latin American Studies. Dorfman details his life of exile and bi-cultural living in his memoir, Heading South, Looking North, which has been acclaimed by Elie Wiesel, Nadine Gordimer, Thomas Keneally and others.

Dorfman's work often deals with the horrors of tyranny and, in later works, the trials of exile. His most famous play, Death and the Maiden, describes the encounter of a former torture victim with the man she believed tortured her; it was made into a film in 1994 by Roman Polanski starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley.

Related websites

El largo exilio de Ariel Dorfman

El absurdo entre cuatro paredes: el teatro de Harold Pinter

JPG of Listening Statement

Video of protesters

El absurdo entre cuatro paredes: el teatro de Harold Pinter

Ariel Dorfman's website

Ariel Dorfman's memoir, Heading South, Looking North

Peter Raymont director of A Promise to the Dead

feature documentary on Ariel Dorfman's experiences of exile

Ariel Dorfman Interview

How Obama can Earn his Nobel Peace Prize

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