Jorge Icaza. This Huaisipungo edition is based on the author's definitive revision that was published in Among Ecuadorian writers, Icaza is perhaps the most renowned internationally due in great part to the publication of this novel in In it he proclaimed to the world the injustices to which the powerful landowners in an unholy alliance with the clergy held subjected the large indigenous population of Ecuador.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Huasipungo by Jorge Icaza. Huasipungo by Jorge Icaza. Huasipungo es una pieza fundamental en el desarrollo de la narrativa indigenista andina.

El indio que aparece en ella no es un indio mitico, sino un indio acosado por una naturaleza hostil y por los tradicionales abusos de los latifundistas. Junto al indio aparece el cholo, victima del blanco y verdugo del indio. Get A Copy. Published by Losada first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Huasipungo. Huasipungo was originally published in followed by substantial revisions in and , aimed at making the novella more emotionally effective.

It portrays the oppression of indigenous people in Ecuador, who are bound to the land, forced to work for little or no pay for rich landowners, and suffer all kinds of abuse with no recourse — the church is shown to be complicit, with the local priest fleecing the serfs however he can, and the army ready to step in with no questions asked at any hint of rebellion.

This system was apparently in effect until land reform in The narrative begins with a landowner, Alfonso Pereira, who relocates to his property in the Andes after many years of absentee management. His goal is development, aided by foreign investors. From there, the novella is a catalog of the machinations of the powerful and the abuses suffered by the Indians. Throughout the book, he is easily manipulated and shows a complete lack of forethought or ability to consider the probable consequences of his actions.

This is after two revisions that, according to the introduction to my edition, were primarily aimed at making Andres a more human and sympathetic character. The writing is quite vivid, and reading it is a cultural experience. There is a lot of disembodied bystander dialogue, which gives the reader the sense of being a fly on the wall in this place and time. If you do plan to read Huasipungo in Spanish, the Stockcero edition seems to be a good choice.

It includes both footnotes and a glossary, which were essential to my understanding of the Quichua words that pepper the text. Quichua, as it turns out, is not a misspelling of Quechua but a variation spoken in Ecuador. And while a page introduction seems excessive for a page novella, it does include some interesting information.

On the downside, the occasionally misplaced punctuation and line breaks are just sloppy. Sep 26, Jim rated it it was amazing Shelves: ecuador , fiction. Not since the Jungle Novels of B. Traven has there been such an indictment of the treatment of Indians by white landowners. Don Alfonso Pereira is in debt to his uncle Julio, whereupon Julio convinces him to talk his Indians into building a road so that gringos could tear down the forests and drill for oil.

Written in , Huasipungo by Jorge Icaza tells the story of the brutality, starvation, and natural disasters that come in the wake of Don Alfonso's road. The landowner refuses to show any we Not since the Jungle Novels of B. The landowner refuses to show any weakness, and winds up doubling down on all the injustices he causes. At the same time, he rapes the young women from the huasipungos or Indian huts and insists on being extra cruel lest he be thought of being weak by the Indians and his partners.

Apr 03, Andrias Scheuchzeri rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , reviewed , owned. I couldn't help but think about Animal Farm while reading Huasipungo, and as a Spaniard living in Ecuador, I've been wondering about the remains of colonialism and the history of the country.

I'm surprised to see how many of these characters could very well be people I've met here. I had to ask my Ecuadorian friends what do they think about the book, to be told it is actually the story that has been repeating everywhere in the country, even before the Spaniards, during the Inca empire. I felt a s I couldn't help but think about Animal Farm while reading Huasipungo, and as a Spaniard living in Ecuador, I've been wondering about the remains of colonialism and the history of the country.

I felt a strong mix of fascination and disgust while reading it, how easy it was to dislike and pity all the characters, even when the protagonists do repulsive acts like getting drunk, rape, steal, kill and discriminate as if it's as natural as cooking or breastfeeding.

I feel they were portrayed in this manner as social criticism, but also to show human nature, before human rights were a thing. Patriotism, social classes, male chauvinism, faith are depicted as the ways used to manipulate and take profit from others, and how victims accept this reality and even justify it.

It made me think of Lights of Bohemia too, the scenes of self-proclaimed intellectuals spouting nonsense and their plans to get the so needed money while getting drunk. Scenes of people losing their loved ones while the privileged ones won't bat an eye as they blame them about their tragedy. And the end, it reminded me of Brave New World, the fatality of being at the bottom of an unjust and unforgiving class system.

I did enjoy this book, I did recognize many of the expressions and kichwa words used by some of the characters, especially the 'Uuuu' exclaimed so many times when things are bad. I could even imagine the way they dressed and behaved, which made it even more enjoyable.

Still, I would only recommend reading this book with an open mind or if you enjoy social criticism and dystopic novels, and some previous knowledge about the history of Ecuador, at least of the Republic's period. The "Indians" are in the lowest place on the social scale, since not only are they mistreated and despised by landlords, religious, politicians, etc. Huasipungo is a Quechua word, meaning "lot of land", and was used to refer in particular to the lot that the landlord "gave" to the "Indian" along with some supplies in exchange for unpaid work.

Obviously, these supplies were never enough for the "Indians" to live with dignity, but they lived in deplorable conditions and had to ask the landlord for "help", which were future supplies and which the "Indians" never paid, for what this debt was passed on to their children and they were always subject to the will of the "lord". Also, the religious authorities took advantage of the ignorance and submission of the "Indians" to abuse them, and demand payments for masses, burials, etc, making them continue to borrow to get absolution when they die, both them as their loved ones.

It also shows us how they are used by their "owners", who consider them less than people, only cheap labor, which, according to them, is cured of their illnesses by degrading and unhealthy living conditions, under the indiscriminate use of the whip or elements of torture.

The book also reflects the position of women, which in different social classes, was inferior to that of men. The novel is a crude denunciation of the abuses committed, which is why Icaza was despised in the high circles of society, since it reflected the outrageous reality to which the "Indians" were subjected.

Icaza also did an excellent job incorporating the colloquial language, although this made my reading a little difficult and made me lose the thread a bit. Fully recommended if you are interested in Latin American history. Totalmente recomendado si te interesa la historia latinoamericana. It follows the lives of two main characters: the hacienda owcer, Don Alfonso Pereira and the Indian worker Andres Chiliquinga.

As Don Alfonso tries to expand his hacienda and enter into the thriving lumber industry, he joins forces with the local sheriff and the local priest to convince the villagers on his land to work for free. As dangerous working conditions and natural disasters occur, the workers become increasingly more disgruntled and desperate.

They finally incite a revolt which is violently suppressed by the military. I think I could deal with that by itself, but it was mixed with a Hemingway-like dialogue style — very minimalist, and it was difficult to keep track of who was speaking. Plus, the characters repeated each other A LOT. While the other parts of the book were hyper-realistic, the dialogue was just weird and stilted.

If it had been just one thing or the other — hyper-realism OR weird dialogue — I think I would have liked the book just fine, but both of those elements combined just made me want to skim, skim, skim.

I did not enjoy reading the book very much at all. Jan 25, Shine Zaw-Aung rated it liked it. A book like Huasipungo is hard to score -- does it highlight the plight of the indigenous Ecuadorian Indians?

Yes, brilliantly. Does it work as a novel? Only partly. It is fairly short but writing or translation is uneven. Only rarely Icaza notes who said what in his dialogue scenes, and characters speak in noisy, confusing, cacophony. In some crowd scenes, it works, but mostly it does not. Also, the ending -- depressing and realistic perhaps, but a bit rushed. The novel is about a landowner a A book like Huasipungo is hard to score -- does it highlight the plight of the indigenous Ecuadorian Indians?

The novel is about a landowner and his much-abused peons, set against building a road to develop the Oriente region of Ecuador.



The Villagers is a story of the ruthless exploitation and extermination of an Indian village of Ecuador by its greedy landlord. First published in , it is here available for the first time in an authorized English translation. Deeply moving in the dramatic intensity of its relentless evolution and stark human suffering, Icaza's novel has been translated into eleven foreign languages, including Russian and Chinese, and has gone through numerous editions in Spanish, including a revised and enlarged edition in , on which this translation is based, but it has never before been authorized for translation into English. His first novel, but not his first published work, The Villagers is still considered by most critics as Icaza's best, and it is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant works in contemporary Latin American literature.


Huasipungo hispanicized spelling from Kichwa wasipunku or wasi punku , wasi house, punku door, [1] "house door" is a novel by Jorge Icaza of Ecuador. Huasipungo became a well-known " Indigenist " novel, a movement in Latin American literature that preceded Magical Realism and emphasized brutal realism. Huasipungo is often compared to John Steinbeck 's Grapes of Wrath from , as both are works of social protest. Besides the first edition of , Huasipungo went through two more editions or complete rewritings in Spanish, , , , the first of which was difficult for even natives of other Hispanic countries to read and the last the definitive version. Besides being an "indigenist" novel, Huasipungo has also been considered a proletarian novel , in that Latin America had to substitute the Indians for the working class as a model or character of proletarian literature. Fragments of the book first appeared in English translation in Russia, where it was welcomed enthusiastically by Russia's peasant socialist class. The complete edition of Huasipungo was first translated into the English language in by Mervyn Savill and published in England by Dennis Dobson Ltd.

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