The Spanish-language book world has been orphaned: Publisher Claudio Lopez de Lamadrid has died.

The publishing director of Penguin Random House passed away yesterday in Barcelona, aged 59, of a stroke.

Juan Didion (Sacramento, California, 1934) wrote in El año del pensamiento mágico (The Year of Magic Thought) (Random House Literature): “Life changes quickly. Life changes in a flash. You sit down to dinner and life as you knew it is over.” Over the years, I have read the opening of that book so many times that I’ve memorized the words and have turned them into a kind of mantra which I’ve repeated over and over each time I was faced with a loss. And now, another loss. But yesterday, I couldn’t even remember the words, or the order in which they were written. The phone rang just after 5:00 p.m.  An hour later the news that one always hopes were just a bad scare turned into the most terrible grief. Claudio Lopez de Lamadrid was dead: “a massive stroke”. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real. Journalism must always face reality and deal with it, in all its realness, and then tell it. But how do you write about a friend who you know you will never hug again? How do you bid farewell in words to the person who taught you to love words? You cannot. And nonetheless, here I am. Because he would want me to be. “My dear, when are you going to start writing? Write, you have to write”, he said to me so many times.

Read more here: ABC CULTURA


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