Fiction Writer From El Salvador Finds Asylum in Pittsburgh


The Pittsburgh branch of the North American Network of Cities of Asylum (NANCA), an organization that hosts persecuted and exiled writers from around the world in five American cities, recently announced that fiction writer Horacio Castellanos Moya from El Salvador will be its second writer-in-residence, following Huang Xiang of China. With branches in Iowa City, Iowa; Ithaca, New York; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Las Vegas, NANCA provides housing, a monthly stipend of twenty-five hundred dollars, health insurance, and assistance with visa or residency issues to writers-in-residence and their families. Created in 2003 as a successor to a similar program in Europe called the International Parliament of Writers, NANCA has hosted writers from China, Colombia, Iran, and Sierra Leone.

Castellanos Moya, who has worked as a journalist in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico, is the author of eight novels and five short story collections. He received death threats and went into exile after the publication of his 1997 novel El Asco: Thomas Bernhard en San Salvador, which criticized the politics and culture of El Salvador. An English translation of a chapter from El Asco will appear in the forthcoming anthology Words Without Borders (Anchor Books).