16 May 2012

Mexican author Carlos Fuentes dies

10:39 am on 16 May 2012

Carlos Fuentes, one of the most prolific of Latin American writers, has died. He was 83.

The Mexican author was known equally for his fiction and essays on politics and culture.

His most famous works were The Death of Artemio Cruz and The Old Gringo.

He was associated with the Latin American Boom - a literary movement made up of mainly young authors whose politically critical works broke with established traditions.

He died in a hospital in Mexico City. Hospital sources did not comment on his cause of death, the BBC reports.

Fuentes wrote a wealth of novels, plays and essays and regularly commented on political events in Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Born in Panama in 1928, he did not move to Mexico until he was 16.

The son of a diplomat, Fuentes spent much of his childhood moving around the Western Hemisphere and says it was this which allowed him to view Latin America from a distance, giving him a critical edge.

Carlos Fuentes had often been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel prize but never won one. Among the many major literary awards he did win was the Cervantes Prize in 1987.

He continued to write until the end, with an essay on the recent change of power in France published in Mexican newspaper Reforma on Tuesday, the same day the Angeles del Pedregal hospital announced that he had died.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has expressed his sorrow.