Almudena Grandes Died: What Was Her Cause Of Death?

The novelist, one of the most important figures in Spanish literature, has died at 61 years of age as a result of cancer

The writer Almudena Grandes, one of the most important figures in Spanish literature, died this Saturday at the age of 61 as a result of cancer. The author, who in recent years was embarking on an ambitious project of Galdosian dyes in which she gave a voice to the defeated of the Spanish twentieth century, announced a little over a month ago in her column in ‘El País Semanal’ that she suffered from this disease for just over a year. She then claimed to be “in the best hands.” In that text, she also explained that she had received the diagnosis during a routine check-up and that some intestinal complications derived from her disease prevented him from being at the last Book Fair, but she confirmed that she was still writing and working on a new novel.

“Perhaps it will reappear with hair, perhaps without hair, with a curly mane or with the hairstyle of my dear Josefina Báquer, as my grandmother called her,” she wrote in her column, where I promised that I would sit down “in a booth to sign copies and look into the eyes of my readers. Unfortunately, it could not be.

Born in Madrid in 1960 and married to the poet and director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, it was 1989, while working as a black man in various publishers of tourist guides and encyclopedias, the year of her literary baptism with ‘Las Ages de Lulú’, a work with which she was proclaimed the winner in La Sonrisa Vertical, the erotic narrative prize awarded by Editorial Tusquets. A year later, the story of that 15-year-old girl madly in love with a university professor was taken to the cinema by the hand of Bigas Luna. That story, which already gave a good example of her joyous narrative style and an innate ability to connect with the reader, opened the doors to the life that Grandes had always dreamed of and that she never abandoned.

Then titles would come like ‘I’ll call you Friday’ (1991), ‘Malena is a tango name’ (1994) – «I’ve always said that ‘Malena’ is my most autobiographical novel, because of that feeling Malena has when she is little that she is not good enough to be a girl and that she would be better off being a boy “, she went on to say-, ‘Atlas of human geography’ (1998), ‘Difficult airs’ (2002), ‘Cardboard castles’ (2004) or ‘The frozen heart’ (2007), many of which received their corresponding audiovisual adaptation.

It was precisely with this latest novel, winner of the José Manuel Lara Prize, an obsession of the writer since 2002 and for which she was documented reading more than two hundred books about the Spanish Civil War, where the author noticed for the first time in the lives of the Republican exiles and their descendants. Intellectually and socially committed and sensitized to historical memory, she then became the narrator who gave voice to the defeated of the Spanish twentieth century.

An admirer of Benito Pérez Galdós, in 2010 she began an unusual feat and challenge, with the ‘Episodes of an Endless War’, a saga of six novels that delved into the most terrible of the 20th century, something like her own «national episodes». Literary and planning hyperactive, by the time she released ‘Inés y la feliz’, awarded the Critics Prize, among other distinctions, Grandes already had in mind what she was going to tell in the next five volumes.

For something she didn’t mind being greeted, half a joke half-seriously, like Benita Grandes Galdós. In the novelist’s centennial year, she was beyond proud of the comparison. “My mother was called Benita, so it would have been easy to share a name with Don Benito,” she explained smilingly in February of last year when presenting the fifth installment, ‘Frankenstein’s mother’, which she dedicated “to all those women who could not dare to make their own decisions without being called whores. ‘ Her plan was to close the saga, which has sold more than a million copies and which won him awards such as the National Narrative in 2018 for ‘The patients of Dr. García’, in 1964 when this Madrilenian sponsored by Galdós was a child of four years. This latest installment, posthumous in nature, will be titled ‘Mariano en el Bidasoa’,

Left-wing, republican and anticlerical

Left-wing, republican and anti-clerical, this analyst of her time, with a precise and accurate pen, began her collaboration with ‘El País’ in 2008. In her columns, the same thing unleashed her mattress passion, which defended feminism tooth and nail or carried the inks against a right “that every time it loses power behaves as if it had been stolen.”

The author, who was preparing a self-fiction novel about her great-grandparents, became in 1997 the first woman to win the Italian Rossone d’Oro Prize, in homage to all of her work so far, and in 2018 she received the Liber, which was awarded by the Federation of Publishers Guilds of Spain, “for creating a literary work focused on women and on the recent history of Spain.” In addition, throughout her career, she was awarded the prizes of the Madrid and Seville Booksellers, the Archbishop Juan de San Clemente, the Cálamo, the Rapallo Carige, and the Prix Méditerranée. For her civic commitment, she received the Julián Besteiro awards for Arts and Letters, the Lawyers of Atocha and the Historical Memory of the Region of Murcia.

Amelia Warner– After graduating from NYU with a master's degree in history, She was also a columnist for many local newspapers. Amelia Warner mostly covers Entertainment topics, but at times loves to write about movie reviews as well.

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