Dorfman, a Chilean-American poet, novelist, playwright and human rights activist, holds the Walter Hines Page Chair of Literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University. He has received numerous international awards, including the Sudamericana Award for novel, the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play (Death and the Maiden, which has been made into a feature film by Roman Polanski), and two awards from the Kennedy Center. His books, written in both Spanish and English, have been translated into more than 40 languages and his plays have been staged in over 100 countries. His memoir Heading South, Looking North was the basis for an award-winning documentary film, “A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman,” directed by Peter Raymont, and short-listed for the Oscars in 2008. In 2000, he turned Kerry Kennedy’s interviews with human rights defenders into a dramatic work called “Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark.” It premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin, John Malkovich, among others, and subsequently aired on PBS as part of its Great Performances series. It has gone on to numerous performances around the world, including a production in Martin Luther King’s church in Atlanta, with Martin Sheen, Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn and Woody Harrelson, among others. His latest plays are Purgatorio and The Other Side and his most recent novels are Blake’s Therapy andAmericanos: Los Pasos de Murieta. He has also written a libretto for Dancing Shadows, a musical dealing with war and ecology (with Eric Woolfson, lead composer and singer of the Alan Parsons Project), which garnered five “Tony” awards when it opened in Korea in 2007. In 2008, he received the NACLA Latin American Peace and Justice Award, and has long been a collaborator with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Index on Censorship and the International Center for Transitional Justice. He is also a regular contributor to major newspapers around the world. He is currently working on the second volume of his memoirs and a new opera based on a legend from the Upanishades, updated to address the global exploitation of children.
Walter Hines Page Research Professor of Literature, Latin American Studies, Spanish Studies and Romance Studies
Duke Department of Romance Studies
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