The Most Famous

WRITERS from Chile

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This page contains a list of the greatest Chilean Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,794 Writers, 15 of which were born in Chile. This makes Chile the birth place of the 54th most number of Writers behind Azerbaijan and Pakistan.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Chilean Writers of all time. This list of famous Chilean Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Chilean Writers.

Photo of Pablo Neruda

1. Pablo Neruda (1904 - 1973)

With an HPI of 84.05, Pablo Neruda is the most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 120 different languages on wikipedia.

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973), better known by his pen name and, later, legal name Pablo Neruda (; Spanish: [ˈpaβlo neˈɾuða]), was a Chilean poet-diplomat and politician who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924). Neruda occupied many diplomatic positions in various countries during his lifetime and served a term as a Senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When President Gabriel González Videla outlawed communism in Chile in 1948, a warrant was issued for Neruda's arrest. Friends hid him for months in the basement of a house in the port city of Valparaíso, and in 1949 he escaped through a mountain pass near Maihue Lake into Argentina; he would not return to Chile for more than three years. He was a close advisor to Chile's socialist President Salvador Allende, and, when he got back to Chile after accepting his Nobel Prize in Stockholm, Allende invited him to read at the Estadio Nacional before 70,000 people.Neruda was hospitalized with cancer in September 1973, at the time of the coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet that overthrew Allende's government, but returned home after a few days when he suspected a doctor of injecting him with an unknown substance for the purpose of murdering him on Pinochet's orders. Neruda died in his house in Isla Negra on 23 September 1973, just hours after leaving the hospital. Although it was long reported that he died of heart failure, the Interior Ministry of the Chilean government issued a statement in 2015 acknowledging a Ministry document indicating the government's official position that "it was clearly possible and highly likely" that Neruda was killed as a result of "the intervention of third parties". However, an international forensic test conducted in 2013 rejected allegations that he was poisoned. It was concluded that he was suffering from prostate cancer. Pinochet, backed by elements of the armed forces, denied permission for Neruda's funeral to be made a public event, but thousands of grieving Chileans disobeyed the curfew and crowded the streets. Neruda is often considered the national poet of Chile, and his works have been popular and influential worldwide. The Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language", and the critic Harold Bloom included Neruda as one of the writers central to the Western tradition in his book The Western Canon.

Photo of Alejandro Jodorowsky

2. Alejandro Jodorowsky (1929 - )

With an HPI of 76.63, Alejandro Jodorowsky is the 2nd most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky (born 17 February 1929) is a Chilean-French filmmaker and artist. Since 1948, he has worked as a novelist, screenwriter, a poet, a playwright, an essayist, a film and theater director and producer, an actor, a film editor, a comics writer, a musician and composer, a philosopher, a puppeteer, a mime, a lay psychologist, a draughtsman, a painter, a sculptor, and a spiritual guru. Best known for his avant-garde films El Topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973), Jodorowsky has been "venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts" for his work which "is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation".

Photo of Gabriela Mistral

3. Gabriela Mistral (1889 - 1957)

With an HPI of 74.10, Gabriela Mistral is the 3rd most famous Chilean Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 98 different languages.

Lucila Godoy Alcayaga (American Spanish: [luˈsila ɣoˈðoj alkaˈʝaɣa]; 7 April 1889 – 10 January 1957), known by her pseudonym Gabriela Mistral (Spanish: [ɡaˈβɾjela misˈtɾal]), was a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator and humanist. In 1945 she became the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature, "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world". Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother's love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Native American and European influences. Her portrait also appears on the 5,000 Chilean peso bank note.

Photo of Luis Sepúlveda

4. Luis Sepúlveda (1949 - 2020)

With an HPI of 73.12, Luis Sepúlveda is the 4th most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.

Luis Sepúlveda Calfucura (October 4, 1949 – April 16, 2020) was a Chilean writer and journalist. A communist militant and fervent opponent of Augusto Pinochet's regime, he was imprisoned and tortured by the military dictatorship during the 1970s. Sepúlveda was author of poetry books and short stories; in addition to Spanish, his mother tongue, he also spoke English, French and Italian. In the late 1980s, he conquered the literary scene with his first novel, The Old Man Who Read Love Novels.

Photo of Roberto Bolaño

5. Roberto Bolaño (1953 - 2003)

With an HPI of 68.77, Roberto Bolaño is the 5th most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Roberto Bolaño Ávalos (Spanish: [roˈβeɾto βoˈlaɲo ˈaβalos] (listen); 28 April 1953 – 15 July 2003) was a Chilean novelist, short-story writer, poet and essayist. In 1999, Bolaño won the Rómulo Gallegos Prize for his novel Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives), and in 2008 he was posthumously awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for his novel 2666, which was described by board member Marcela Valdes as a "work so rich and dazzling that it will surely draw readers and scholars for ages". The New York Times described him as "the most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation".

Photo of Nicanor Parra

6. Nicanor Parra (1914 - 2018)

With an HPI of 65.58, Nicanor Parra is the 6th most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Nicanor Segundo Parra Sandoval (5 September 1914 – 23 January 2018) was a Chilean poet and physicist. He was considered one of the most influential Chilean poets of the Spanish language in the 20th century, often compared with Pablo Neruda. Parra described himself as an "anti-poet," due to his distaste for standard poetic pomp and function; after recitations he would exclaim "Me retracto de todo lo dicho" ("I take back everything I said").

Photo of Antonio Skármeta

7. Antonio Skármeta (1940 - )

With an HPI of 65.09, Antonio Skármeta is the 7th most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Antonio Skármeta (born Esteban Antonio Skármeta Vranicic on November 7, 1940) is a Chilean writer descending from Croatian immigrants from the Adriatic island of Brač, Dalmatia. He was awarded Chile's National Literature Prize in 2014.

Photo of Sergio Badilla Castillo

8. Sergio Badilla Castillo (1947 - )

With an HPI of 64.83, Sergio Badilla Castillo is the 8th most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Sergio Badilla Castillo (born November 30, 1947 in Valparaiso, Chile) is a Chilean poet and the founder of poetic transrealism in contemporary poetry. He is considered the Latin American poet with the broadest Nordic influence, from the Finnish poets, Edith Södergran, Elmer Diktonius, Paavo Haavikko, Pentti Saarikoski and the Swedes Gunnar Ekelöf, Tomas Tranströmer and Lars Gustafsson.

Photo of Vicente Huidobro

9. Vicente Huidobro (1893 - 1948)

With an HPI of 63.24, Vicente Huidobro is the 9th most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Vicente García-Huidobro Fernández (American Spanish: [biˈsente ɣwiˈdoβɾo]; January 10, 1893 – January 2, 1948) was a Chilean poet born to an aristocratic family. He promoted the avant-garde literary movement in Chile and was the creator and greatest exponent of the literary movement called Creacionismo ("Creationism").

Photo of Francisco Coloane

10. Francisco Coloane (1910 - 2002)

With an HPI of 62.63, Francisco Coloane is the 10th most famous Chilean Writer.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Francisco Coloane Cárdenas (American Spanish: [fɾanˈsisko koloˈane]; July 19, 1910 – August 5, 2002) was a Chilean novelist and short fiction writer whose works have been translated into many languages. Some of his books were adapted to theatre and film.

Pantheon has 15 people classified as writers born between 1889 and 1987. Of these 15, 5 (33.33%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Alejandro Jodorowsky, Antonio Skármeta, and Sergio Badilla Castillo. The most famous deceased writers include Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, and Luis Sepúlveda. As of October 2020, 2 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Francisco Coloane and Jorge Edwards.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2020)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 10 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.