Spanish author Javier Marias dies aged 70 after bout of pneumonia ‘caused by Covid-19’
- The El Mundo daily newspaper said the pneumonia was caused by Covid-19 and that the author had been hospitalised for months
- The Madrid-based writer, considered one of the great authors in contemporary Spanish literature, published his 16th novel Tomas Nevinson last year
Spanish writer Javier Marias, whose work has been translated into more than 40 languages in nearly 60 countries, died on Sunday in Madrid at the age of 70 after suffering from pneumonia, his publisher said.
“With enormous sadness, in our name and on behalf of the family, we regret to announce that our great author and friend Javier Marias passed away this afternoon in Madrid,” Alfaguara wrote.
The publisher’s statement said he had been suffering “for several weeks from pneumonia which worsened in recent hours”.
The El Mundo daily said the pneumonia was “caused by Covid-19” and that the author had been hospitalised for months.
According to El País daily, he underwent an operation on his back just before the coronavirus pandemic.
Born on September 20, 1951, the Madrid-based writer, considered one of the great authors in contemporary Spanish literature, published his 16th novel Tomas Nevinson last year.
His best-known works include All Souls, Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, and A Heart so White, which brought him critical acclaim in the 1990s.
A member of the Royal Spanish Academy of language since 2008, Marias spoke fluent French and English.
As a columnist – he used to write for the weekly magazine of Spain’s leading El País daily – he railed against politicians of all stripes.
Marias once described Spain’s former prime minister Mariano Rajoy as an “airhead”.
A passionate film fan and supporter of Real Madrid FC, Marias was also, despite his republican principles, the “ruler” of a fictional kingdom based in the real, uninhabited islet of Redonda in the Lesser Antilles.
Marias was handed the imaginary title, which has been passed from one writer to the next, after he wrote All Souls – although there were other contenders to the throne.
“It is only a title. The island was recovered by Antigua, it belongs to Antigua, and I am not going to have dynastic disputes about anything that is more fictional than real,” he told The Paris Review literary magazine in 2006.
Still, Marias took on the mantle of king – with a dash of tongue-in-cheek – naming Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar “Duke of Tremula” and US director Francis Ford Coppola “Duke of Megalopolis”.