Carlos Fuentes (November 11, 1928-May 15, 2011) was an internationally renowned Mexican Novelist. Fuentes is best known for his masterpiece The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962) and his international bestseller, The Old Gringo (1985). Fuentes was born in Panama. His parents were Berta Macias and Rafael Fuentes, a member of the Mexican diplomatic corp. His father's diplomatic career kept the family moving from country to country in South America. Fuentes started writing in 1940 after the family was transferred to Chile. In 1936, the family was relocated to Washington DC where Fuentes learned to speak fluent English. As a young man, Fuentes studied law in Switzerland and Mexico. His father encouraged him to write but insisted that he also pursue a career in law. After completing his law degree, Fuentes entered the diplomatic corps of Mexico but continued writing in his spare time. His first novel, Where the Air is Clear, was published in 1958. The novel was well received by critics and readers and established his literary reputation. From this point on, Fuentes left the diplomatic corps and devoted his time to writing. Fuentes writings often use the backdrop of history to deal with themes of love, death, and memory. Fuentes received numerous literary awards, including the National Order of Merit (1992), the Cervantes Prize (1987), and Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for Literature (1994). To view works by Carlos Fuentes at Milwaukee Public Library, please click here.