José Donoso Yáñez was was born to a well-to-do family in Santiago, Chile. He attended the Grange School, Chile’s most prestigious private school, and studied English literature at the University of Chile. A grant from the Doherty Foundation allowed him to continue his studies at Princeton University. He returned to Chile after graduating from Princeton, where he taught English Literature at the Universidad Católica, wrote for the weekly magazine Ercilla, and produced his some of his own fiction. His impressive output during these years allowed him to receive an appointment as Professor of Creative Writing in the School of Journalism of the University of Chile and the Chile-Italia prize for Journalism. Donoso returned to the United States in the 1960s to serve as a Visiting Professor at the Iowa Writers Workshop. He spent the following two decades in “voluntary exile” for both personal and political reasons, mostly in Spain, returning to the United States for sporadic teaching assignments. He returned in Santiago in the 1980s, where he died of cancer in 1996.