Spanish novelist Javier Marías dies at age 70

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Javier Marías, Spain’s most prestigious novelist of the past half century, has died, his publisher said on Sunday

MADRID — Javier Marías, Spain’s most prestigious novelist of the past half century, has died, his publisher said on Sunday. He was 70.

The Spanish news agency EFE reported that Marías died in a hospital after failing to recover from a lung infection.

Marías was the author of 15 novels, translations and collections of his weekly newspaper columns. His best-known novels are “Corazón tan blanco” (“Heart So White”), “Todas las almas” (“All Souls), and “Mañana en la batalla piensa en mí” (“Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me”). of his works have been translated into English and other languages.

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He has been considered the leading Spanish candidate for winning the Nobel Prize in Literature for many years since Camilo José Cela received the honor in 1989.

“(This is) a sad day for Spanish literature,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tweeted. “Javier Marías, one of the greatest writers of our time, has left us. His immense and talented body of work will be of fundamental importance to Spanish literature. My condolences to his family and friends in these difficult times.”

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In 2006 Marías was elected a member of the Spanish Royal Academy, the country’s highest literary and linguistic authority. He has won several international fiction awards and in the 1980s was professor of Spanish literature and translation at Oxford and Wellesley College in Massachusetts.