Alonso Cueto, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, will deliver a talk about his forthcoming historical novel (yet untitled) about the famous actress and entertainer María Micaela Villegas y Hurtado de Mendoza, known as La Perricholi, arguably the most famous Peruvian woman of the 18th century. Villegas y Hurtado de Mendoza was known for being the mistress of the Peruvian Viceroy Manuel de Amat y Juniet, but in his novel Cueto attempts to provide a nuanced portrait of this figure in order to shed light on Colonial life in Peru. Cueto’s novel will be released in mid 2019. Dr. Cueto will deliver a talk about the process of writing the novel and the research behind it, while also addressing some of the societal issues La Perricholi as a character brings to the table. He will speak from the perspective of a writer trying to make sense of Peruvian society through history and fiction. In doing so, he will address issues of social inequality, racism, ethnicity, politics and gender.


Alonso Cueto (Lima, Peru 1954) is the author of several novels, short stories and essays. Cueto has won several distinctions for his literary work, including the prestigious Herralde Award (Spain 2005) for his novel La Hora Azul (The Blue Hour), the 2007 Casa de Américas-Planeta second-place prize for his novel El Susurro de la Mujer Ballena (Sigh of the Whale Woman) and the Anna Seghers Prize for his body of work (Germany, 2000). He also received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation grant in 2002. Filmmaker Francisco Lombardi adapted Cueto’s novel Grandes Miradas (Knowing Gazes) to the screen in Mariposa Negra, which won several international awards. Cueto’s work has been translated into 15 languages, including Dutch, German, French, Italian, Rumanian, Polish, Chinese and Korean.