Carlos Fuentes (kär´lōs fwān´tās), 1928–2012, Mexican writer, editor, and diplomat. He was head of the department of cultural relations in Mexico's ministry of foreign affairs (1956–59) and Mexican ambassador to France (1975–77). Much of his fiction, which generally deals with themes of Mexican identity and history and often focuses on politics as well as love, sex, memory, and death, is a synthesis of reality and fantasy, transcending the limits of time and space (see magic realism). His works include La región más transparente (1958; tr. Where the Air Is Clear, 1960), Muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962, tr. Death of Artemio Cruz, 1964), Cambio de piel (1967; tr. A Change of Skin, 1968), Terra Nostra (1975, tr. 1976), Una familia lejana (1980; tr. Distant Relations, 1982), Gringo Viejo (1985, tr. The Old Gringo, 1985, film 1989), La Campaña (1990, tr. The Campaign, 1991), Años con Laura Díaz (1999; tr. The Years with Laura Díaz, 2000), Instinto de Inez (2001, tr. Inez, 2002), Silla del Águila (2003, tr. The Eagle's Throne, 2006), and Voluntad y la fortuna (2008, tr. Destiny and Desire, 2011). His nonfiction books include The Buried Mirror (1992), a study of Spanish and Latin American cultural history, and This I Believe (2005), an alphabetically arranged combination of memoir, manifesto, and literary essay. Fuentes also wrote numerous essays and short stories, e.g., Todas las Familias Felices (2006, tr. Happy Families, 2008).
See biographies by W. Faris (1983) and A. González (1987); studies by R. Brody and C. Rossman, ed. (1982), K. Ibsen (1993), R. L. Williams (1996), C. Helmuth (1997), and M. Van Delden (1998).