Now open for research: the papers of Ricardo Piglia, distinguished Latin American contemporary writer and professor emeritus

Ricardo Piglia
The papers of Argentine author and critic Ricardo Piglia, professor emeritus of the Princeton University Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, are now available for research at Firestone Library.

Regarded as one of the most significant Latin American contemporary authors, Piglia wrote short stories, essays, and novels where he explored the meaning of social and political processes, particularly in Argentine political history, and critiqued the works of writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Roberto Arlt, and Macedonio Fernández. Among Piglia’s most celebrated works are La invasión (The Invasion), Respiración artificial (Artificial Respiration), La ciudad ausente (The Absent City), Nombre falso (Assumed Name), and Blanco nocturno (Target in the Night).

The collection documents Piglia’s handwritten and typewritten drafts, diaries and journals, notebooks, research notes, correspondence, personal photographs, and teaching files, as well as interviews, reviews, and other authors’ works on Piglia.

A number of Piglia’s novels were adapted into films, including Plata quemada (Burnt Money), for which he wrote the screenplay. Piglia penned several screenplays, in fact, and won a Golden Condor Prize in 2000 for his adaptation of El astillero (The Shipyard), a book by Juan Carlos Onetti. Additionally, Piglia’s novel La ciudad ausente was adapted into an opera with music by Gerardo Gandini. Published versions of Piglia’s articles, novels, and essays are also included in the papers, along with his film scripts and opera.

Ricardo Piglia
Piglia’s essays and novels have been translated into English, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German. Throughout his literary career, Piglia won copious awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1989, Premio Iberoamericano de las letras José Donoso in 2005, Premio internacional de novela (International Novel Prize) Rómulo Gallegos in 2011, and the Diamond Konex Award in 2014.

At Princeton, Piglia “had a profound impact” on students, faculty, and staff. In 1986, Piglia joined the Humanities Council as a visiting fellow. Throughout the 1990s, he returned to the University as a visiting professor in what was then the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Finally, in 2001, he joined the newly formed Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures as the Walter S. Carpenter Professor of Language, Literature and Civilization of Spain and the professor of Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures. In 2011, he retired from the University and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

At 76 years old, Piglia passed away in Buenos Aires on January 6, 2017 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His papers are in Princeton University Library’s Manuscripts Division.

For more information on the collection, please visit Library Finding Aids or contact PUL's Librarian for Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, and Iberian Peninsular Studies Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez

The Piglia Papers collection was processed by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez with the assistance of Isabella Litke, John English, Matthew Oakland, Fiona Bell, and Danielle Vuong on January 2018.


Written by Stephanie Ramírez, Library Communications Assistant

Media Contact: Barbara Valenza, Library Communications Manager