The Spanish playwright, novelist, poet and essayist Antonio Gala died this Sunday at the age of 92, informed the Board of Trustees of the Antonio Gala Foundation and the family.
"We regret to announce that today our beloved author and friend Antonio Gala, one of the most outstanding writers of Spanish literature, has passed away," tweeted the Planeta publishing house, which published his books.
Gala created a foundation to promote the work of young writers, he had retired from public life after announcing in 2011 that he suffered from colon cancer, recalled the AFP news agency.
He currently collaborated in El Mundo with the column entitled La Tronera. Several of his series of articles were later published as books, such as Charlas con Troylo (1981); In Own Hand (1985); Notebook of the Lady of Autumn (1985); Dedicated to Tobias (1988); La soledad sonora (1991) and A quien conmigo va (1994).
"Rest in peace, your work remains forever," Spanish Culture Minister Miquel Iceta tweeted.
Gala, born on October 2, 1936, had an early start in his career since at the age of five he wrote a short story and at seven his first play.
In 1951, at the age of 15, he entered the University of Seville with a degree in Law, and enrolled freely in Madrid in two other careers: Philosophy and Letters and Political and Economic Sciences, reviewed Europa Press.
During his university years he published his first poems in the magazines of the time (Escorial, Platero, Cántico) and founded two magazines (Aljibe and Arquero de Poesía) with Gloria Fuertes and Julio Mariscal Montes.
Once graduated, he began competitive examinations for State Counsel obeying his father's mandate, but dropped out in the second year. In 1959, he wrote the book of poems Enemigo Íntimo for which he received a second prize in the Adonais Poetry Prize.
Meanwhile, in the spring of 1963 he received the Las Albinas prize for his story Solstice de Verano and in July he was awarded the Calderón de la Barca National Prize for his comedy Los Verdes Campos del Edén.
Thus, Gala began a long and fruitful career as a playwright, during which he wrote works such as Rings for a Lady (1973) or Petra Regalada (1980). He also wrote articles in newspapers such as Pueblo, Sábado Gráfico, Actualidad española, El País and El Mundo.
His poetic work, begun with "Enemigo íntimo" (1959), recognized with the Adonais Poetry Prize, continues with "Sonetos de la Zubia" (1981) "Poemas cordobeses" (1994), "Poemas de amor" (1997), "testamento andaluz" (1998) and "El poema de Tobías desangelado" (2005), which the author himself considered his "literary testament".
He lived for a year in Florence, where he directed the gallery La Borghese and, back in Spain, began his fruitful theatrical career with "Los verdes campos del edén" (1963), which was awarded the National Theater Prize "Calderón de la Barca", which was followed by "Los buenos días perdidos", which won the National Prize for Literature 1972, "Anillos para una dama" (1973), "Why are you running Ulysses?" (1975), "Petra Regalada" (1980), "Samarkanda" (1985), "Carmen, Carmen" (1988) and "La truhana" (1992).
In 1990 he published his first novel, "The Crimson Manuscript", with which he won the Planet. After that, he published "The Turkish Passion" (1993) and "Beyond the Garden" (1995), both made into films, "The Rule of Three" (1996); "The Outskirts of God" (1999); "The pedestal of the statues" (2007) or "The water papers" (2009).
Gala was also a prolific columnist, many of them, collected in books such as "Mis charlas con Troylo" (1981) -César González Ruano Prize for Journalism-, "Cuaderno de la dama de otoño" (1985); 'La soledad sonora' (1991) or 'La Tronera', title of his column in the newspaper El Mundo since 1992.
He also wrote scripts for television such as "Y al final esperanza" and for series such as "Si las piedras hablaran" (1985) or "Paisaje con figuras" (1995) and even dared with an opera, "Cristóbal Colón".
During the eighties he had an intense cultural life. He was president of the Spanish Center of the International Theater Institute and founding president of the Asociación de Amistad Hispano Árabe. And in the nineties he was one of the promoters of the Association of Independent Writers and Journalists (AEPI).
In July 2011 from his column in El Mundo he revealed that he suffered from colon cancer difficult to remove. He was fighting the disease, without leaving his home, until June 2014, when very dejected, he was seen in the delivery of the poetry prizes that bear his name.
One of his last public appearances was in April 2018, when he attended the delivery of the Loewe Poetry Prizes, awarded to a former fellow of his foundation and great friend, Ben Clark.