Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish writer best known for his work Don Quixote, which is considered one of the high points of world literature. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelists of all time and the greatest writer to ever write in the Spanish language. His works have influenced other works of art like music and paintings.
Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón gained international fame with his first adult novel, The Shadow of the Wind. Previously, he had dabbled in the young-adult genre, with novels such as The Prince of Mist. He had initially been associated with the advertising industry and later also wrote scripts.
Miguel de Unamuno was a Spanish essayist, poet, playwright, novelist, and philosopher. His most famous novel was Abel Sánchez: The History of a Passion, a modern retelling of the Biblical Cain and Abel story. He was a significant figure in the Spanish literary and intellectual circles and served as rector of the University of Salamanca.
Spanish Baroque dramatist Lope de Vega was one of the most significant figures of the Spanish Golden Age. He had initially aspired to be a priest but abandoned his plans after falling in love with a married woman. He is best remembered for works such as The Dog in the Manger.
A retired war correspondent and best-selling author, Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez began his writing career while serving as a journalist, publishing his first novel, El hussar, set during the Napoleon Wars, at the age of thirty-five. Outside Spain, he is best known for his Captain Alatriste series, which contains seven novels set around a seventeenth century soldier of the same name.
Camilo José Cela was a Spanish novelist, essayist, story writer, and poet. One of the most respected Spanish writers of his generation, Camilo José Cela received a number of prestigious awards, including the 1987 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. In 1989, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1994, he was honored with the Premio Planeta de Novela.
Philippine politician Pedro Paterno was educated in Spain, where he graduated in philosophy and theology. He later became the prime minister of his country. A poet and novelist, too, he eventually became infamous as a traitor after supporting the U.S. and favoring American dominion during the Philippine–American War.
Born to banned educator Julián Marías, Javier Marías had begun writing at age 14 and penned his first novel, The Dominions of the Wolf, at 17. His depiction of John Gawsworth, the king of the Caribbean island Redonda, led him to inherit the kingship. He also writes columns for El Pais.
Ibn Tufail was a 12th-century Arab polymath from Andalusia and a significant figure of the Islamic Golden Age. Best known for his philosophical romance Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān, he had also penned medical works in Arab and had been the court physician of Abū Yaʿqūb Yūsuf.
Spanish countess and novelist Emilia Pardo Bazán had initially gained fame with the essay The Critical Issue. She was an advocate of naturalism and free will. Known for novels such as The House of Ulloa, she also taught Romance literature and was divorced by her husband because of her literary success.
One of the greatest Spanish novelists ever, Benito Pérez Galdós had initially aspired to become a lawyer but later switched to journalism. His novel The Fountain of Gold was the first in a series of 46 novels known as National Episodes. He also penned plays such as Realidad.
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David Trueba is a Spanish film director, novelist, and screenwriter. He is known for directing movies like The Good Life, Madrid, 1987, and Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed. The younger brother of Oscar-winning filmmaker Fernando Trueba, David Trueba has also directed several TV series. He is also known as the ex-husband of popular Spanish actress Ariadna Gil.
Corín Tellado held a Guinness World Record for selling the most titles in the Spanish language. The author of over 4,000 titles, Tellado specialized in romance novels and photonovels. She included feminist elements, such as working women, and also penned several erotic novels under the pseudonym Ada Miller.
Best known for his war novels, such as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez was a prominent member of the Spanish Generation of ’98 movement. Though he had been elected to the parliament, he later went into self-exile. Many of his novels were later adapted into films.
Spanish-born French author and playwright Fernando Arrabal is best known for his absurdist plays. While he initially studied law, he later switched to drama. He has written and directed films such as Viva la Muerte, and his characters are often murderers or prostitutes amid cruel and pornographic themes.
Spanish dramatist and novelist Ramón del Valle-Inclán, a member of the Spanish Generation of 98, was a noted radical dramatist who despised literary realism and created esperpento, expressionist theatre. Major works of Valle-Inclán includes plays like Divine Words (Divinas palabras) and Bohemian Lights (Luces de Bohemia), the novel Tyrant Banderas (Tirano Banderas) and the four novelettes known as the Sonatas.
One of the greatest Spanish dramatists, Ramón María del Valle-Inclán was part of the Generation of ’98 movement. While he initially studied law, he later penned novels influenced by French Symbolists. He later specialized in satirical plays, which he called esperpento, such as Lights of Bohemia and Don Friolera’s Horns.
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Spanish Basque writer Pío Baroja was a qualified doctor and practiced medicine in northern Spain for a few years before returning to Madrid to manage his family bakery. Part of the Generation of ’98, he penned iconic works such as the series Memoirs of a Man of Action.
Spanish writer Ana María Matute is counted among leading novelists of the posguerra. A member of Real Academia Española, Matute’s rich body of work, including novels like Fiesta al noroeste and short stories like El árbol de oro, helped her become the third woman to receive the Cervantes Prize. She also received Premio Nadal for the novel Primera memoria.
Renowned Spanish author and poet Manuel Vázquez Montalbán was a regular columnist for El Pais. A gastronome, he displayed his knowledge of cooking in the Detective Pepe Carvalho series and in Contra los Gourmets. He was a football lover, too, and often wrote essays on topics such as sports and music.
Spanish poet, short-story writer, essayist, and novelist Juan Goytisolo was regarded as the greatest living writer of Spain at the beginning of the 21st century. A critique of Francoist Spain, works of Goytisolo, which includes the novels Marks of Identity, Count Julian, and Juan the Landless, were banned in Spain until after Francisco Franco’s death.
Spanish author Miguel Delibes was a significant member of the Generation of '36 movement and is remembered for his realist fiction. He had been part of the Spanish navy and initially worked as a newspaper caricaturist. Many of his works, such as El camino, were later made into films.
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Spanish-born author and politician Jorge Semprún mostly wrote in French. He was educated at the Sorbonne and mostly lived in France. He soared to fame with the autobiographical novel The Cattle Truck, while his scripts for the films Z and The War Is Over earned him Academy Award nominations.
Spanish journalist, playwright, and satirical author Mariano José de Larra had his own newspapers and also worked as a drama critic for La revista Española as Figaro. Part of the costumbrismo movement, he penned the play Macías. He later took his own life after being rejected by a woman he loved.
Premio Nadal-winning Spanish author Carmen Laforet is remembered for developing Spanish Existentialist literature. Best known for her first and most popular novel, Nada, she used the tremendismo narrative in her works. Suffering from Alzheimer's disease in later years, she eventually lost the ability to speak.
Spanish Catalan novelist Mercè Rodoreda is best remembered for her novel The Time of the Doves. While she had initially begun writing to escape her unhappy marriage, she took it up as a serious career while in exile in France and Switzerland after the Spanish Civil War.
José Martínez Ruiz, better known as Azorin, was a prominent Spanish literary critic. He was also credited with naming his group of Spanish writers the Generation of ’98. Though educated in law, he later became a journalist and penned works such as An Hour of Spain, 1560–1590.
Nineteenth-century Spanish literary critic Leopoldo Alas gained fame for his paliques and his liberalism. A qualified lawyer, he taught law and political economy at the University of Oviedo throughout his life. His notable works include his novel La regenta and his short story collections such as El gallo de Sócrates.
The Spanish avant-garde author Ramón Gómez de la Serna is best remembered for his greguerías, or short poems. Though he had studied law, he never practiced and ventured into literature instead. He also launched his own literary magazine, Prometeo, and penned numerous articles, novels, and plays.
Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda is the pseudonym of the unknown author who penned the Second Book of the Ingenious Knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, an unauthorized sequel to Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Cervantes, however, had criticized the poor quality of Avellaneda’s work, in the original second volume.
Part of the Generation of '27, renowned Spanish poet Pedro Salinas y Serrano had also been a professor at the Johns Hopkins University. Educated at the Sorbonne, he also taught Spanish at Seville and later joined Cambridge, too. He is also known for his research on Rubén Darío and Jorge Manrique.
Carmen Martín Gaite graduated with romance philology when it was rare for women to attend universities. The Premio Nadal-winning author is best remembered for her iconic works such as Entre visillos and El balneario. She was also one of only two female Spanish Royal Academy members back in her time.
Spanish author Juan Antonio de Zunzunegui was primarily known for his novels and short stories that reflected the life of Bilbao and Madrid. A Spanish Academy member, he is remembered for masterpieces such as El premio and El supremo bien and for his realistic narrative.
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José Cadalso was a colonel of the Royal Spanish Army in the 18th century. He was also a well-known author, playwright, poet, and essayist. As an army man, he traveled through Italy, Germany, England, France, and Portugal and studied the literature of these countries. He is credited to have made massive contributions to Spanish Enlightenment literature.
Spanish philosopher and author Eugenio d'Ors y Rovira initially studied law but later worked as a journalist and gained fame with the column Glossari. Over the years, he gained excellence as an essayist and a caricaturist, too. He penned works such as The Secret of Philosophy.