Mario Bencastro

Mario Bencastro (El Salvador, 1949), is an award-winning writer and painter. He took up the brush and canvas as the first outlet for his artistic expression, garnering him remarkable success from an early age, with his works gracing the walls of major museums and galleries. He has written novels, short stories, plays and poetry.

Crossroad, “a portrayal of modern existential crisis,” was chosen for the International Festival of Theater, part of the 1989 Bicentennial celebration of the foundation of Georgetown University in Washington, DC. A Shot in the Cathedral (1990) was a Finalist in the International Diana and Novedades Literary Prize, México, 1989. Publishers Weekly called it “a vivid newsreel of a country disintegrating.” The Tree of Life: Stories of Civil War (1997), blends fantasy with reality to show readers the daily struggle of ordinary people to survive the tragedy of civil war, “showcasing Bencastro's considerable talents for drawing character through the medium of a minor literary masterwork... making this first English edition of the book a memorable event." -Phillip Parotti.

Odyssey to the North was a Finalist in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, USA, 1999. “A heartfelt story of political oppression and exile, credible and quite moving.” (Kirkus Review). Portable Paradise (2010) is a stirring collection of short stories, poetry, and a short novel that makes real the impact of war and the need to leave one’s home because of violence and poverty. The Mansion of Oblivion (La mansión del olvido) won the International Latino Book Awards, USA, 2016, for “Best Historical Fiction Novel,” and was featured by Library Journal as “Starred Title - Essential purchase for all library collections.”

In Waves of the East River, the author revives memories of the river and the financial district, which inspired him to create a poetic and personal mythology, a lyrical voyage through historic places and events that bring to life fictitious and biblical characters, following the footsteps of Walt Whitman and Federico García Lorca.