Friday, June 19, 2020

Carlos Ruiz Zafón: R.I.P.

Such sad news. Carlos Ruiz Zafón died today at the age of 55. He was one of my favorite writers. Way too young. Such a talented man.

Here's the article from The Guardian.  Zafon was frequently described as the most-read Spanish author since Cervantes. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer.

The novelist, who was frequently described as the most-read Spanish author since Cervantes, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles, his publisher Planeta announced. According to Spanish language reports, Ruiz Zafón had been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018.

Pedro Sánchez, the Spanish prime minister, tweeted: “We have lost one of the world’s most read and most admired Spanish writers. Carlos Ruiz Zafón, a key novelist of our epoch, made a significant contribution to modern literature.”

Calling him “one of the best contemporary novelists”, Planeta quoted from his most famous book, The Shadow of the Wind, a literary thriller about a library of obscure titles: “Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it.” His English-language publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson said it was “deeply saddened to hear of Carlos’ passing”.

The author of eight novels that also include The Angel’s Game and The Labyrinth of the Spirits, Ruiz Zafón’s books sold more than 38m copies worldwide, were translated into more than 40 languages, and won him multiple awards. .

Born in Barcelona, Ruiz Zafón worked in advertising before he made his debut as an author in 1993 with young adult novel The Prince of Mist. In 2001, he published The Shadow of the Wind, which followed a boy called Daniel who is taken to the Cemetery of Lost Books in Barcelona and becomes fascinated by the author Julian Carax and the shadowy figure trying to eradicate every last copy of Carax’s books. The novel was translated into English by Lucia Graves in 2004, and became an international hit. “If you thought the true gothic novel died with the 19th century, this will change your mind,” said Stephen King in a review. “Shadow is the real deal, a novel full of cheesy splendour and creaking trapdoors, a novel where even the subplots have subplots.”

Ruiz Zafón, who moved to Los Angeles in the 1990s, and divided his time between Spain and the US, has said that while he had written “pretty successful” young adult novels for 10 years, with The Shadow of the Wind he “wanted to create something very special”.

1 comment:

Susan Bernhardt said...

Carlos Ruiz Zafon at one time was my favorite author and The Shadow of the Wind was my favorite novel. I even make a slightly changed reference to the book in one of my mysteries. I was introduced to him by a friend who literally broadened my world of literature. I was shocked when I saw the post this a.m. about his death. He was so young and was such a talent.