As many intellectuals and artists will tell you, the Paraguayan government gives little funding to the arts. Many artists, musicians and painters have left the country to perform or work elsewhere. Nevertheless, Paraguay boasts some well-known figures.

Paraguay's major literary figures are poet-critic and writer Josefina Plá and poet-novelist Augusto Roa Bastos, winner of the 1990 Cervantes Prize. Bastos died in 2005, aged 87. Despite many years in exile, he focused on Paraguayan themes and history drawing from personal experience. Contemporary writers include Nila López, poet Jacobo A Rauskin, Luis María Martínez, Ramón Silva Roque Vallejos, Delfina Acosta and Susy Delgado.