Julio Ramón Ribeyro Zúñiga was a Peruvian writer best known for his short stories. He was also successful in other genres: novel, essay, theater, diary and aphorism. In the year of his death, he was awarded the Premio Juan Rulfo de literatura latinoamericana y del Caribe. His work has been translated into numerous languages, including English.
The characters in his stories, often autobiographical and usually written in simple but ironic language, tend to end up with their hopes cruelly dashed. But despite its apparent pessimism, Ribeyro's work is often comic, its humor springing from both the author's sense of irony and the accidents that befall his protagonists. The collective work of his short stories is published under the title La palabra del mudo (The Word of the Mute).
Ribeyro studied literature and law in Universidad Católica in Lima. In 1960 he immigrated to Paris where he worked as a journalist in France Presse and then as cultural advisor and ambassador to UNESCO. He was an avid smoker, as described in his short story ¨Sólo para fumadores¨ (Smokers Only) and he died as a result of his addiction.