Persona non grata author Jorge Edwards dies in Madrid

In this July 25, 2012 file photo, Chilean author Jorge Edwards holds a press conference in Madrid to present a “call for a diplomatic solution” between Peru and Chile. AFP/File

Santiago: Popular Chilean writer Jorge Edwards, winner of the Cervantes Prize in 1999, died in Madrid on Friday at the age of 91, his son told AFP.

“He died a few hours ago,” his son, also known as George Edwards, said by telephone from Santiago.

His father was famous for his novel “Persona Non Grata” in which he recounts his despair. The Cuban Revolution.

He was awarded the prestigious Cervantes Prize in 1999, a lifetime achievement. Award For Spanish-language literature.

Edwards’ son added: “He basically had very high diabetes which meant he had to be taken to hospital over the weekend and then he died when he got home.”

Spain’s Cervantes Institute wrote on Twitter: “An extraordinary novelist, courageous essayist and journalist with his finger on the pulse of the news has left us.”

Edwards was born in Santiago in 1931.

He studied law at the University of Chile before taking a postgraduate degree at Princeton in the United States.

He began his diplomatic career in 1957 and was posted to Paris, Lima and Havana, the last of which left a lasting impression on him.

He reopened the Chilean embassy in Havana in 1971 as a representative of the socialist Salvador Allende government, one of the first in the region to establish diplomatic relations with the government of Fidel Castro.

But he left the Cuban capital after only three months when Castro He declared her a persona non grata, the inspiration for his novel.

After the 1973 military coup that overthrew Allende, Edwards left the diplomatic service and moved to Barcelona, ​​where he met fellow South American literary figures Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.

He returned to diplomacy in 1994 when he was named UNESCO Ambassador in Paris.

Throughout his diplomatic career he performed diplomatic duties with his writing.

He resettled in Paris for his last diplomatic post between 2010 and 2014, during the administration of conservative Sebastian Paneira.

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