Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile

Ramón J. Sender [1901–1982]

Date of Birth: 3 Feb 1901 Chalamera/Huesca
Died: 16 Jan 1982 San Diego/USA (age 81)

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Spanish novelist and dramatist exiled in the USA.

Time Table

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1901 Chalamera/Huesca
Born in Aragón, the third of nineteen children, of whom only ten survive.
1903 Alcolea de Cinca/Spain
The family moves to Alcolea de Cinca, his parents' home town.
1909 Zaragoza
The family moves to Zaragoza, where Ramón begins his secondary schooling in 1911.
1915–1917 Reus/Spain
Continues his schooling in Reus, at the Colegio San Pedro Apóstol. Starts to work in a pharmacy at the age of 14.
1917 Zaragoza
The family returns to Zaragoza. Ramón is expelled from school, accused of inciting unrest among the students. Finishes secondary school in Tauste and gets another job in a pharmacy.
1918 Madrid
Runs away from home and goes to Madrid, where he is homeless for a time. Starts to publish articles and stories, including his first story, Las brujas del compromiso, in several newspapers and journals, such as El Imparcial, El País, España Nueva and La Tribuna. He publishes these under a pseudonym.
1918 Madrid
Begins university studies in Philosophy and Letters, which he never completes. Becomes involved in anarchist worker groups.
1919 His father, with whom he has a difficult relationship, makes him return to Aragon.
1919–1922 Huesca
Aged 18, directs the newspaper La Tierra for the Asociación de Labradores y Ganaderos del Alto Aragón.
23 Feb 1923–1924 Melilla
Does military service in Morocco during the war.
1924–1930 Madrid
Works for the newspaper El Sol, writing articles and editing content.
1927 Madrid, calle Martin de los Heros, 84
Imprisoned in the Modelo prison for revolutionary activites against General Primo de Rivera's dictatorship.
1930 Starts writing for the anarquist newspaper Solidaridad Obrera.
Sep 1930–Apr 1936 Madrid
Writes for the Republican newspaper La Libertad.
1931–1933 Madrid, Plaza de Santa Bárbara
Lives in the Pensión Vizcaina.
1931–1936 Madrid
Writes in many left-wing journals: Orto, La Lucha, Literatura, Nuestro Cinema, Tensor', Mundo Obrero, Octubre'', etc.
May 1933–Feb 1934 Moscow
Travels to the Soviet Union. Disillusioned by the Anarchist movement in Spain, Sender is tempted by Communism, though he never joins the Party.
1934–1935 Madrid. calle Monteleón
Lives with his partner, Amparo Barayón.
1935 Founds the journal Tensor.
Sep 1935 Marries Amparo Barayón, with whom he has two children.
1936 Sender's El secreto performed throughout 1936 (with some interruptions), as part of the Republican programme of propaganda after the outbreak of the civil war. At the premiere, Sender gave a lecture on 'el teatro nuevo', or the theatre of the proletariat.
1936 Awarded the Premio Nacional de Literatura for his novel Mr Witt en el cantón.
Jul 1936 San Rafael/Spain
When the war breaks out, Sender finds himself on the Francoist side, in a small town in the Sierra de Guadarrama. Manages to get to Republican Madrid, while his wife and children set off to Zamora, to join her family.
Jul 1936 Madrid
Joins the Republican Army.
11 Oct 1936 Zamora
His wife is executed by Francoist militia.
1937 Bayonne/France
Goes to France. The Red Cross help to get his children out of Spain and he is reunited with them.
1937 USA
The Republican Government sends him to the USA to speak in favour of the Republic. He speaks in New York's Madison Square Gardens. Returns to Spain.
Dec 1938 Leaves Spain definitively for France.
1939 New York
Arrives in New York with his two children on board the U. S. Manhattan. The children stay in the US whilst Sender travels on to Mexico, where he founds the publishing house Quetzal.
1940 Guatemala
Lives for a short time in Guatemala.
1941 Mexico
Back in Mexico, Sender is frightened by the assassination of Leon Trotsky, and decides to return to the USA.
1942 Santa Fe/New Mexico
Obtains a visa to work in the USA thanks to a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. Lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Aug 1943 New York
Marries Florence Hall.
Sep 1943–Mar 1945 Ahmerst/Massachusetts
Takes over a teaching post at Amherst College.
1945–1947 New York
Writes for different newspapers and journals in English and Spanish: The Saturday Review of Literature, The New Leader, Las Españas, etc.
Apr 1945–Jun 1947 Manhattan/New York
Moves to New York, where he works translating screenplays into Spanish for MGM. Visiting professor at Columbia University.
Jan 1946 New York
Becomes an American citizen.
Sep 1947–Jan 1962 Albuquerque/USA
Becomes lecturer in Spanish Literature at the University of New Mexico.
Dec 1953 Albuquerque/USA
Starts writing articles for the American Literary Agency, directed by Joaquín Maurín.
1961 Paris
London
Los Angeles
Travels to Europe for the first time since the civil war. Teaches at the University of Southern California.
Jan 1962 Albuquerque/USA
Divorces Florence Hall.
Feb–Jun 1962 Manhattan Beach/Los Angeles
Works for the UCLA as visiting professor for one semester.
1964 Spain
The Spanish censors begin to allow the publication of some of his works.
Feb 1965–Jan 1972 Manhattan Beach/Los Angeles
Lecturer and writer in residence at the University of Southern California.
1969 Awarded the Planeta prize for his novel En la vida de Ignacio Morel.
1970 The Spanish embassy in Washington informs Sender that, should he return to Spain, he could still be arrested.
Feb 1972 Balboa Park/San Diego
Retires to San Diego, California.
29 May–12 Jun 1974 Spain
Returns to Spain, for the first time since going into exile, with José Luis Castillo-Puche and Luz C. de Watts. He gives lectures in Barcelona and Madrid, travels to Aragon, and takes part in the Feria del Libro.
27 Sep 1980 Recovers his Spanish nationality.
Jan 1982 San Diego/USA
Dies of a heart attack at his home.
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Works

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Works About

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Resources

'El Lugar de Sender' (Centro Virtual Cervantes/Instituto Cervantes)
Website devoted to Sender. Includes bio-bibliographical information, articles on his work and resources.
'Centro de Estudios Senderianos' ('Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses')
Website, in Spanish, of a public institution located in Huesca, which holds Sender's archives. Provides information on Sender's life and works, and on publications and events related to the writer. It allows those who are interested in Sender to subscribe and periodically receive news about research on him.
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