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A Tribute to Novelist Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) - Evening One

Americas Society

November 29, 2012


Carlos Fuentes, 1987. MDC Archives.

In partnership with:

In this two-evening event (November 29 and 30), friends and colleagues of the late Mexican author, who passed away on May 15, 2012, honor the man and discuss his formidable contribution to world culture.This first night features Latin American writers Antonio López Ortega (Venezuela), moderator Julio Ortega (Peru), Pedro Angel Palou (Mexico), and Jorge Volpi (Mexico). In Spanish with simultaneous interpretation. Click here for information about the second evening.

Presented by the Americas Society, The Transatlantic Project at Brown University, and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.

Program inquiries: Please contact José Negroni at

Press Inquiries: Please contact Adriana La Rotta at

Attend both evenings (11/29 and 11/30) for $15!

Carlos Fuentes was Mexico’s most important twentieth-century novelist and essayist. In his obituary, The New York Times described Fuentes as "one of the most admired writers in the Spanish-speaking world" and an important influence on "El Boom," the explosion of Latin American literature in the 1960s and 70s. Fuentes’ prolific literary output profoundly influenced not only Mexican and Latin American literature, but also international letters. Among his major works in English translation are the novels Where the Air is Clear (1960), Aura (1961), The Death of Artemio Cruz (1964), Terra Nostra (1976), The Old Gringo (1985), Christopher Unborn (1987), and the short-story collection Happy Families (2008). Fuentes also wrote plays, screenplays, and essays (e.g., Myself with Others, 1988), and regularly contributed articles on politics and culture to Mexico’s Reforma and Spain’s El País, among numerous other outlets. In addition to his career as a writer, he also served as an ambassador to France. His many literary honors include the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the Xavier Villaurrutia Award, the Rómulo Gallegos Award, the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the Legion of Honor, and the Príncipe de Asturias Award as well as the Belisario Domínguez Medal of Honor. Carlos Fuentes’ association with the Americas Society spanned the years, including publication of his fiction, translated by Alfred Mac Adam, in Review magazine, and participation in events; in 2008 he was awarded the Society’s Gold Medal.

Antonio López Ortega (b. Venezuela, 1957) is an award-winning fiction writer, essayist, literary critic, and cultural promoter. His most recent publications are the novels Río de sangre (2005), Fractura (2006) and Indio desnudo (2008) and the essay collection Discurso del subsuelo (2002). He is editor of Las voces secretas (2006), an anthology of Venezuelan short fiction, and co-editor of La vasta brevedad (2010), an anthology of twentieth-century Venezuelan short stories. He founded the publishing house Pequeña Venecia, and was editor of the journals Bigott and Veintiuno.

Julio Ortega (moderator) is among the most profound contemporary critics of Latin American literature. He has taught Latin American literature at Brown University since 1989. His literary criticism includes Poetics of Change: The New Latin American Narrative (1986), Garcia Márquez and the Powers of Fiction (1988), and Arte de inovar (1994). With Carlos Fuentes, he edited The Picador Book of Latin American Short Stories (1998) and The Vintage Book of Latin American Stories (2005). His most recent book is Trans-atlantic Translations: Dialogues in Latin American Literature (2009). Ortega’s poetry, fiction, and drama have received international prizes and have been widely translated.

Pedro Angel Palou (b. Puebla, Mexico, 1966) is a novelist and essayist who has worked in Mexico’s Ministry of Culture and has served as professor of literature and president of the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla. He has been a visiting professor in Paris (Sorbonne Rene Descartes) and is currently a faculty member of Tufts University. He is the author of 33 books, including an acclaimed novel, Como quien se desangra (Xavier Villaurrutia Prize 2003) and an historical trilogy about Zapata, Morelos, and Cuauhtémoc (2006, 2007, 2008), three heroes of Mexican history. His 2009 novel, El dinero del diablo, was a finalist for the Planeta Casa América prize.

Jorge Luis Volpi Escalante (b. Mexico City, 1968) is a Mexican author best known for his 1999 novel En busca de Klingsor. Volpi helped found the "Crack Movement." The authors that are a part of this Mexican literary group, including Eloy Urroz, Ignacio Padilla, and Pedro Angel Palou, write beyond magical realism and challenge the ideals of the 1960s Latin American literary "Boom." These authors were not interested in defining "Mexican literature" but instead advocated for Mexican writers to discover their individual voices and implement them into their respective works. Volpi himself has been influenced by authors such as Juan Rulfo, Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz. In 2012, he was awarded the Premio Iberoamericano Planeta-Casa de América de Narrativa, for his 2011 novel, La tejedora de sombras.

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Carlos Fuentes with Alfred Mac Adam at 92Y

November 30, 2012

View a video clip of Carlos Fuentes speaking at the 92nd Street Y in 2011....