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Hernan Rivera Letelier


Hernan Rivera Letelier is a Chilean novelist. Until the age of 11 he lived in the Algorta saltpeter mining town. When it was closed down, he and his family moved to Antofagasta, where his mother died. His siblings went to live with his aunts. He stayed in Antofagasta, alone, until he was about 11. To survive, he sold newspapers. Later he worked as a messenger for Anglo Lautaro Nirate Company, until his thirst for adventure led him to spend three years traveling in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina. He returned to Antofagasta in 1973 and began to work at another company, Mantos Blancos. He married a 17-year-old girl when he was 24. Later he left for Pedro de Valdivia, another saltpeter mining town. He completed his seventh and eighth years of study at night school, and at the Inacap educational institute he earned his license as a secondary education instructor. Today he lives in Antofagasta with his wife and four children. He has received the Premio Consejo Nacional de Libro (Chilean National Book Award) twice, in 1994 and 1996.

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