Prominent Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes to speak

Influential Mexican literary and political figure Carlos Fuentes will deliver the Association of Latin American Students Lecture for Washington University’s Assembly Series at 11 a.m. on Oct. 12. in Graham Chapel. His talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Celebrating Cervantes and Don Quixote.”

Fuentes is a prolific writer known for his cultural, political and historical insights on Latin America. Much of his writing addresses the search for cultural identity and the examination of cultural tensions both within Latin America and with the U.S. Among his major works are Where the Air is Clearer (1958), The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962), A Change of Skin (1967), Terra Nostra (1975), The Hydra Head (1978), The Campaign (1990) and Inez (2002). His novel, The Old Gringo was the first U.S. bestseller by a Mexican author and was made into a film starring Jane Fonda and Gregory Peck. His latest novel is The Eagle’s Throne. This I Believe: A Life From A to Z, which was published in 2004, was awarded the Spanish Royal Academy’s prize for Best Book of the Year.

Fuentes also has written plays, short stories and essays, and has helped create a literary magazine, Revista Mexicana de Literatura.

For his writing, he has received both the National Prize in Literature, Mexico’s highest literary award, and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious award for Spanish language writers. He has taught at Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, and Cambridge universities. He is professor-at-large at Brown University.

Fuentes’ writing is informed by his international upbringing and his experience in diplomacy. As the son of a Mexican diplomat, he spent much of his childhood in Washington, D.C. After earning a degree in law from Mexico’s National Autonomous University, Fuentes followed his father’s path a diplomat and served as Mexican Ambassador to France, but soon changed course and began his literary career.

In addition to his literary writing, Fuentes is known for his political commentaries and regularly contributes to the Spanish newspaper, El Pais.

Graham Chapel is located just north of Mallinckrodt Center (6445 Forsyth Blvd.) on the Washington University campus. For more information, check the Assembly Series Web page at or call 314-935-4620.