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Carlos Fuentes: 1928—: Novelist , Essayist Biography

First Writings In English, Became Mexican Ambassador To France

Carlos Fuentes: 1928—: Novelist , essayist.

"The novelist takes it upon himself to reinvent in depth a world that must come alive again, for the future only exists if the past does also," Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes told the UNESCO Courier in 1992. That statement might serve as a credo for the complex, challenging works of this master of the modern Latin American novel, the first Mexican writer to appear on U.S. bestseller lists and one of the key figures in the ascent of Latin American fiction to international significance. Fuentes creates a fictional world showing Mexican society in the throes of intense change—yet at the same time in the grip of forces unleashed at many different points of its long history. Primary among those forces has been Mexico's troubled relationship with its colossal neighbor to the north.

It was in the United States, in fact, that Fuentes began to write. He was the son of Rafael Fuentes Boettiger, a top member of Mexico's diplomatic corps. Fuentes was born in Panama City, Panama, on November 11, 1928, but attended school in Washington, D.C., after his father was assigned to a post at the Mexican embassy there. As a boy this later rather nationalistic novelist was a lover of American culture, but he saw its less tolerant side when he was taunted and called a Communist by schoolmates who had heard about the Mexican government's nationalization of American-owned oil facilities.

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