Juan Felipe Herrera on the legacy of Carlos Fuentes

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Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes has died. He was 83.

Carlos Fuentes

Fuentes was a giant of Latin American literature. On the level of Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Julio Cortazar. His plays, short stories, and over a dozen novels were loved throughout Latin America, and the world.

His novel “The Old Gringo” was the first book by a Mexican novelist to become a best seller in the U.S., and was made into a movie with Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda.

He served as a Mexican diplomat, but was also sharply critic of his country’s government and of authoritarian regimes throughout the world.

For more about Fuentes’s importance in world literature, KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis called up Juan Felipe Herrera, the poet laureate of California and professor of creative writing at UC-Riverside.