- Guggenheim Fellow (1975)
Gustavo Sáinz was a visiting professor of Spanish and Portuguese in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington for the 1992-1993 academic year. He was then reappointed as professor of Spanish and Portuguese (with tenure) in 1994, appointed to the faculty of the Graduate School in 1995, and retired with the title of professor emeritus of Latin American literature in 2011. Before joining the faculty at IU, Sáinz held positions at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, the University of New Mexico, Middlebury College, and Washington University in Saint Louis.
Sáinz was an award-winning fiction writer, who wrote articles, children’s books, and 18 novels. His first novel, Gazapo (1965), which he wrote at age 25, has been translated into 14 languages. His novel, La princesa del Palacio de Hierro (1974), won the Premio Xavier Villaurrutia in 1974; A troche y moche (2002), won the Premio Nacional de Narrativa Colima for the best novel of the year in Mexico in 2003. When translated into French, it won the best novel of the year award in Quebec. He has received grants and fellowships from organizations such as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts that have helped to support his writing.
Upon Sáinz’s passing on June 26, 2015, Professor Deborah Cohn (a colleague at IU) reflected, “He was one of the leading figures of la Onda, a Mexican literary movement that coincided with the youth movements and student protests of the 1960s, and that was infused with the spirit (and irreverence) of contemporary countercultural movements.”