Carlos Fuentes

Diplomat / Writer
Date Of Birth:
11 November 1928
Date Of Death:
15 May 2012
Place Of Birth:
Panama City, Panama
Best Known As:
The author of 'The Old Gringo' and 'The Death of Artemio Cruz'
Carlos Fuentes was one of the most influential Mexican writers of the 20th century and the author of The Old Gringo (1985), the first Mexican novel to become a bestseller in the United States. He was the son of a diplomat and grew up all over South America, as well as in the United States. He went to universities in Mexico and in Geneva, Switzerland, where he began his career as a diplomat. His first published collection of stories was The Masked Days in 1954, and his first two novels, When the Air is Clear (1958) and The Good Conscience (1959) brought him international success. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he wrote in Spanish and was a major figure in "El Boom," a literary explosion that helped define Latin American literature in the last half of the 20th century. He was famously a friend and rival to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and later in life feuded with Octavio Paz over political differences. Much of his career was spent teaching, mostly in the United States, although during the 1960s he was denied a visa for his leftist sympathies. Politics and Mexican culture were central to his writing as well as his public life, and Fuentes was influential in both realms, winning international awards for literature and a reputation as a champion for democracy. His other novels include Aura (1962), The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962), Terra Nostra (1975) and Destiny and Desire (2011).
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