Soledad For Maura by Maura Soledad Fox
Spanish by birth Parisian by adoption Semprun (1923-2011) was a legendary figure on the front lines of twentieth-century European history. During the first half of his life he was an exile of the Spanish Civil War a member of the French Resistance a Nazi camp survivor and clandestine agent for the Spanish Communist Party. After repeatedly risking his life from the 1930s to the 1960s he reinvented himself as a prolific writer who turned the extraordinary material from his own life into a series of autobiographical novels beginning with The Long Voyage his 1963 masterpiece about his deportation to Buchenwald. Semprun was equally at home amongst the madrilenos of his childhood fellow prisoners of the Buchenwald concentration camp politicians and artists and writers such as his close friend Yves Montand or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He is best known internationally as a prize-winning novelist and memoirist and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. In collaboration with Alain Resnais and Costa-Gavras he wrote the screenplays for respectively La guerre est finie and Z. In Spain his extraordinary achievements were recognised when in 1988 he was named Minister of Culture. The research for this biography draws on archival materials from Spain France Germany the United States and Russia; it includes many interviews with family members close friends politicians and artists including former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez and film director Costa Gavras. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies.