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Mike Wilson (San Luis, Missouri, 1974) is an American-Argentine writer based in Chile.
Although he was born in the United States, most of his infacia and his adolescence were spent in South America. When he was three years old, he arrived in Chile, with his American father and his Argentine mother; at seven they moved to Asunción, Paraguay and, finally, settled in Buenos Aires, where Wilson did most of his basic education and all of secondary school.
The family finally returned to the United States after their father entered the North American diplomacy under the presidency of Jimmy Carter and Wilson entered the Cornell University, New York, where he studied hipánica literature and where he met Edmundo Paz Soldán.
He returned to Chile in 2005 after receiving his doctorate and obtained a position as professor of English literature at the Catholic University; since then he resides in this country.
He published the novel Nachtrópolis, which appeared in 2003. Wilson defines it as “an uchronía set in the 40s in a version of Buenos Aires overflown by German zeppelins and under a Peron government controlled by the Reich”. < / p>
Five years had to pass before El pugil left, a text in which “the references range from the work and life of Roberto Arlt to the aesthetics of Blade Runner, or from the classic trans-Andean comic book The Eternauta to the voice of Orson Welles reading The War of the Worlds. ” If this is an Argentine novel, Zombie (2009) no: tells the story of some teenagers who have survived the destruction of La Avellana, a neighborhood that could well be La Dehesa de Santiago, with a “devastating panorama of what some they were perfect houses with perfect courtyards for perfect families. “The boys who survive,” left to their own devices, end up behaving like zombies addicted to methamphetamine “.
On the eve of publishing his second novel, Wilson was signed by the agency of Guillermo Schavelzon, which meant his passage from the small publisher Forja to Alfaguara, which also released his third novel, Rockabilly (2011). Novel is that “it is a terrifying journey to those places away from the big American cities that Wilson knows well, where men and women live in search of their broken dreams, in the midst of nights that seem never to end”.
Mauricio Montiel has said in Letras Libres that “the best of the contemporary Latin American narrative is gestating far from the center and near the periphery”, and what a good example of this thesis are these two novels by “Wilson, rara avis que has decided to turn its back on the bustle of the downtown-read literary-establishment to face the apparent suburban stillness with a look full of concern, and I say and emphasize “apparent” because in the powerful suburban diptych composed of Zombie and Rockabilly […] that peace reveals a substratum of contained violence that ends up emerging in unsuspected and openly disturbing ways “.
His fifth novel, Leñador (2013), marks a turn in several ways. “I was interested in the possibility of writing without narrating, without the necessary action that everyone expects,” explained Wilson, who said that this is the last work of fiction he publishes. The author “resigned to a position of privilege in the national literary medium” and ended his link with agent Guillermo Schavelzon and Alfaguara to publish his novel in a small Chilean label, Orjikh. In addition, he closed his blog and his facebook account; His name does not appear on the cover of the book. As the critic and writer Patricio Jara says: “A peaceful and silent retreat, just like the retirement of the woodcutter” that stars in his latest novel.
José Promis, meanwhile, explains that, “to carry out his desacralizing and disruptive project, Mike Wilson has drawn on elements characteristic of popular culture, peripheral culture during the golden age of the great continental narratives.
After publishing Leñador, Wilson declared that he abandoned fiction, and his next book, Wittgenstein and the tacit sense of things (2014) seemed to confirm this decision; however, later he returned to the narrative. In 2016 he wrote Scout, “a quite traditional story in his narration”, which he edited in fanzine format and which he left “in some to be given as a gift”. And at the beginning of the following year he published Arctic: a list in Fiordo, a small Buenos Aires publishing house that had reissued his Lumberjack. The text -which in his words “is an inventory of impressions, a nouvelle in verse, a long poem, a list” – was written in 2015 by Ushuaia, on a trip to Argentine Patagonia.
“At the time I wrote Lumberjack I did not want to know anything with narration, I needed to get away and I did not want to keep publishing fiction, it was what I honestly felt at that moment and I think still a bit,” says Wilson about his return to fiction, in addition to recognizing that he has “cheated” after that novel when writing Scout. This act of his explains it this way: “It was a way of not being on the official circuit, the same as publishing in Argentina, that distance calms me down, now I publish again, but Arctic is not a conventional narrative, I enjoy writing, it makes me Well, it is necessary, but the process that comes after, not so much, work with publishers and promotion in the media are not situations in which I feel very comfortable “.
Wilson has been classified in the renovating movement of Chilean letters called Freak Power and it would also be composed by narrators such as Álvaro Bisama, Francisco Ortega or Jorge Baradit.
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