Princeton acquires the papers of Vicente Leñero and Alejandro Rossi

Alejandro Rossi at his desk [Alejandro Rossi Papers, 1812-2010, Box 31, Folder 6]

Alejandro Rossi at his desk [Alejandro Rossi Papers, 1812-2010, Box 31, Folder 6]

The Princeton University Library’s Manuscripts Division has recently added the papers of Vicente Leñero (1933- ) and of Alejandro Rossi (1932-2009) to its extensive collection ofarchives, manuscripts, and correspondence by Latin American writers and intellectuals.

The Vicente Leñero Papers represent his work from the late 1950s to the present day.  Leñero has produced a critically acclaimed and expansive body of work, including novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts and essays.  In 1963, Leñero was awarded the Premio Biblioteca Breve for his novel, Los albañiles, which he later adapted for the stage.  Although he evolved independent of any specific literary circle or milieu, as co-founder of the magazine Proceso, Leñero’s place as a leading intellectual in Mexico is undisputed. Considered a champion of documentary theater and fiction based in real-life events, Leñero has defied easy categorization as a writer, though among his many achievements Leñero is considered one of Mexico’s most important playwrights of the twentieth century. In later years Leñero has written prodigiously for Mexican cinema, and his credits include La ley de Herodes (1999), El crímen del Padre Amaro (2003), Fuera del cielo (2006) and Desde dentro (2012).

Alejandro Rossi was born in Florence, Italy, to an Italian father and a Venezuelan mother.  He studied philosophy in Mexico, Germany, and England, before settling in Mexico City, where he became professor of philosophy at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1958. His book on analytical philosophy, Lenguage y significado (1968), confirmed his status as a philosopher, but when Octavio Paz asked Rossi to contribute articles to the literary magazine Plural, Rossi began to enter the world of letters.  The writer Juan Villoro has described Rossi as the consummate conversationalist, a quality that characterizes his prose writing.  With his friends Octavio Paz, Salvador Elizondo, and Juan García Ponce, Rossi helped found the influential literary journal Vuelta in 1978.  A member of Mexico’s El Colegio Nacional since 1996, and winner of the Premio Xavier Villaurruita for his novel Éden, vida imaginada in 2007, Alejandro Rossi enjoyed a long distinguished career, and with great pride became a Mexican citizen in 1994.  He died in Mexico City in 2009.

The Vicente Leñero Papers and the Alejandro Rossi Papers are now both open to researchers.  For additional information, contact the Manuscripts Division or Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, Librarian for Latin American Studies (

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