Monday 1/17/22
LITERATURE

Spanish novelist Almudena Grandes dies aged 61

Grandes' work addressed difficult subjects for many Spaniards, including the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship
28 November 2021, Spain, Madrid: Singers Ana Belen (R) and Victor Manuel (C) leave the Tanatorio Parcesa La Paz after attending the funeral of Spanish novelist Almudena Grandes, who died at the age of 61. Photo: Alejandro Martínez Vélez/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.
Singers Ana Belen (R) and Victor Manuel (C) leave the Tanatorio La Paz after attending the funeral of Almudena Grandes. Photo: A. Martínez Vélez/dpa.

One of Spain's greatest modern novelists, Almudena Grandes, has died at the age of 61 following a battle with cancer, her publisher Tusquets Editores announced in Madrid on Sunday.

Grandes became famous for her first novel, 'The Ages of Lulu,' which caused a sensation when it was published in 1989. Describing a young woman's sexual awakening following the repression of Franco's Spain, it responded to the pent-up sexuality in Spanish society after decades of prudery.

Despite being criticized by many for its erotic content, the novel sold over a million copies and was made into a film directed by Bigas Luna and starring Javier Bardem. Speaking in 1990, Grandes said that she had written a "romance novel" to which "eroticism and sexuality simply belong."

Grandes' later work addressed difficult subjects for many Spaniards, including the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship, in novels such as 'The Frozen Heart,' and 'Dr Garcia's Patients.'

Her many novels have been translated into more than 20 languages, and she won the National Literature Prize for Narrative and the Prix Mediterranee, among numerous other honours.

Commitment

"We are losing one of the most important writers of our time," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on Twitter. "With commitment and courage, she told our recent history from a progressive perspective."

Culture Minister Miquel Iceta spoke of an "irreplaceable loss" that made society "very sad and lonelier."

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