Gonzalo Barr was born in Miami. He learned to speak English by watching television when he was a very young boy. His first words in that language were, “Please stand by. We are experiencing transmission difficulty.”

In high school, Barr skipped class to read in the school library. He sat at a table where he could see the bay and the sailboats. The librarian knew exactly what he was doing, but never called him on it. He read everything by Camus and Vonnegut, and wrote short stories. Two of his stories were published in the school literary magazine. He also read García Márquez, Borges, and Cortázar.

College and the years that followed were devoted to getting an education, which left little time for writing, then to learning practical things, like how to earn a living, which sapped all desire to do anything else.

After that, Barr went into hiding for two years. He read or re-read classic literature from Homer to Hemingway. And he wrote his first novel, an unfinished work filling nine notebooks with tiny handwriting.

Everything came together in 2000, when he enrolled in a writing class taught by Leejay Kline. Since then, he has attended the Seaside, Wesleyan, Kenyon, and Bread Loaf writers’ conferences, where he studied under John Dufresne, Christopher Tilghman, and Julia Alvarez. His stories were published in GulfStream and The Street Miami. In 2005, he won the Bakeless Prize for Fiction, awarded by Bread Loaf and Middlebury College, for “The Last Flight of José Luis Balboa,” which was published in 2006.

Now, even as you read this, he is working on a novel.


© 2006 - 2012 Gonzalo Barr