Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Spanish author of 'The Shadow of the Wind' has died aged 55

The bestselling novelist had reportedly been suffering from cancer for two years

Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon died in his Los Angeles home on Friday aged 55. EPA
Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon died in his Los Angeles home on Friday aged 55. EPA

Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafon, who penned internationally bestselling novels such as The Shadow of the Wind, has died aged 55.

It has been widely reported in Spanish media that Ruiz Zafon had been diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago.

The novelist, who has in the past been described as the most-read Spanish author since Cervantes, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles, US.

His eight novels have been translated into more than 40 languages, selling over 38 million copies worldwide. He's also won multiple awards over the course of his decades-long career.

He's best known for The Shadow of the Wind, the first instalment in his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, which concluded with 2016's The Labyrinth of Spirits.

People were quick to pay tribute to the author on social media, including Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. He wrote in Spanish on Twitter: "We have lost one of the world's most read and most admired Spanish writers ... a key novelist of our epoch, made a significant contribution to modern literature."

“Today is a very sad day for the entire Planeta team that knew him and worked with him for 20 years, in which a friendship that transcends professionalism has been forged,” a statement from his Spanish publisher said.

It also quoted a line from his most famous book: "Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it."

His English-language publisher, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, also paid homage to the author on Twitter, saying: "We are deeply saddened to hear of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s passing and send our heartfelt condolences to his family.

"W&N are intensely proud to publish such a masterful writer, whose stories brought joy to millions and will continue to inspire and delight future generations."

Updated: June 19, 2020 04:40 PM

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