Spanish literature includes prose, novels, and poetry. Many countries of the Americas were Spanish colonies. Hence, Spanish literature is very diverse due to the historic and geographic diversity. Here are a few famous writers of Spanish origin who left their mark in the world through their works.
Miguel Hernández (1910-1942)
Miguel Hernández was a Spanish Civil War poet whose poetry reverberated the beauty of his native country, Spain. He was born in a peasant family and lacked formal education.
However, he was an avid reader of classical poetry and prose written by Miguel De Cervantes, Gongora, Ruben Dario, and Rafael Alberti. To establish a career in literature, he decided to travel to Madrid in 1931.
In 1933, at the age of 23, his first book of poems 'Perito en lunas' was published. The language and the style of his poems reflected the style of his beloved authors.
In 1936, he published a set of poems under the name - El rayo que no cesa. The poems of this book expressed the sufferings of nonreciprocating love through surreal symbols. By this time, he was recognized in literary circles.
He was imprisoned during the Spanish Civil War because he fought against fascism through his writings. He wrote many wonderful poems that depict the horrors of war and the political conditions during the Civil War period. Some of his important works include 'Viento del pueblo', 'Cancionero y romancero de ausencias', and 'Nanas de cebolla'.
In 1942, at the age of 31, Miguel Hernández succumbed to tuberculosis due to the harsh prison conditions he had to face. On the wall next to his hospital bed, he had written his last poem: "Farewell, brothers, comrades, friends: Let me take my leave of the sun and the wheat fields."
Camilo José Cela (1958-2001)
Camilo José Cela was born on May 11, 1916, in Galicia, northwest Spain. His mother was English by birth and his father was a Spaniard. He belonged to the upper middle class with aristocratic roots. Camilo was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his literary work in 1989.
Though he studied medicine, his main interest lay in literature. He attended many literary lectures along with his studies in medicine. Owing to pulmonary tuberculosis and also due to the Spanish Civil War, he had to leave his medical studies and go home.
After the war, he devoted a lot of time to writing than to pursuing his studies. In 1942, he published his first literary work known as 'La familia de Pascual Duarte'. This work of his brought him instant fame and he devoted his time entirely to literature.
He published a magazine called Papeles de Son Armadans, between 1956 and 1979. In 1957, he became one of the members of the Spanish Academy. The El Premio Nacional de Literatura was awarded to him in 1984.
In 1987, he was awarded the El Premio Principe de Asturias de las Letras for his contribution to Spanish literature. Some of the books written by Cela include 'Mrs. Caldwell Speaks to Her Son', 'The Hive', and 'The Family of Pascual Duarte'.
Arturo Pérez Reverte (1951)
Arturo Pérez Reverte is one of the contemporary Spanish writers who has written many novels in the English language. Arturo started his career as a journalist and a war correspondent in African countries for a national daily, Pueblo. He also worked as a war correspondent for Spanish National Television. Many of his novels have been made into motion pictures.
Between 1996 and 1999, he wrote a series of novels (pop-up books) based on a fictional character Capitan Alatriste. 'La Carta Esférica', a fiction which narrates the mystery of an 18th century shipwreck that is solved by a sailor who is banned from working on a boat for two years, was published in 2000.
Some of his famous novels include 'The Fencing Master', 'The Seville Communion', 'The Husar', and 'The Club Dumas'.
Isabel Allende (1942)
Though Isabel Allende was born in Lima, Peru, she was brought up in Chile. Currently, she resides in California, after she was forced into exile from Chile in 1973. Allende is one of the most prominent, contemporary literary figures from Latin America.
She is the niece of the late Chilean President Salvador Allende. As an author, she writes on sensitive issues such as the social and political conditions in Chile.
One of her books, 'The House of Spirits' was made into a motion picture. This book is the saga of three generations of the Trueba family. Her other works include 'Of Love and Shadows', 'The Infinite Plan', 'Paula and Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses', and 'Eva Luna' among others.
Many of his works have been translated into different languages. He has written a few political novels, comic novels, and also a mythico-political narrative.
He obtained his doctorate from the University of Madrid in 1959. He has taught in some of the world famous universities such as King's College of the University of London, Columbia University in New York, and so on. He was awarded many literary prizes for his work. In 1962, the Premio Biblioteca Breve was bestowed on him.
Over the years, he has also won other awards like the Premio de la Crítica Española, Premio del Instituto Italo Latinoamericano, Ritz Paris Hemingway Award, and the Premio Internacional de Literatura Rómulo Gallegos. His famous works include 'The Cubs and other Stories', 'The Time of the Hero', 'The Green House', and 'Conversation in the Cathedral'.
All these famous Spanish writers have made their mark in the world because of their strong and influential writings. They have proven that the power of words cannot be underestimated.