Dorfman was born in Argentina but his family moved to the United States shortly after his birth, returning to Chile in 1954. He attended and was later a professor at the University of Chile.From 1970 to 1973, Dorfman was part of the administration of president Salvador Allende. He was forced into exile following the bloody military coup of 1973 in which General Augusto Pinochet came to power.Since 1985 he has taught at Duke University.Since the restoration (1990) of democracy in Chile, he divides his time between Santiago and the United States.
Dorfman has written fiction often dealing with the horrors of tyranny and, in later works, the trials of exile. His most famous play, Death and the Maiden, dealt with the encounter of a former torture victim with the man she believed tortured her; it was made into a film in 1994 by Roman Polanski starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley.
Dorfman has also been one of Pinochet's most eloquent critics, and wrote extensively about his extradition case for the Spanish newspaper El PaÃs and other publications.Ariel Dorfman is the Walter Hines Page Research Professor of Literature and Professor of Latin American Studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
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