Camilo José Cela Trulock was born in the Galician village of Iria Flavia in Padrón, on May 11th, 1916. In 1942, he started his literary career by publishing his first novel La familia de Pascual Duarte (‘The Family of Pascual Duarte’). Later on, he published another thirteen novels until Madera de boj (‘Boxwood’, 1999). After La familia de Pascual Duarte, La colmena (‘The Hive’) stands out, a work published in 1951 in Buenos Aires due to censorship reasons.
In 1989, he was awarded the Premio Nobel de Literatura, ‘for a rich and intense prose which with restrained passion, form a challenging vision of man’s vulnerability’. Two years later, he was awarded the Spanish Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras, and six years later he received the greatest award for Literature: the Premio Cervantes.
CJC worked with all literary genres and reached a total of 120 works published in his lifetime: 14 novels, 8 short novels, 5 poetry books, 17 travel books, 20 books with articles, 26 books with stories, 3 plays, a cordel book, 5 adaptations, 2 books with interviews, 13 books on varied topics, a book on lexicography, 3 dictionaries and 2 books of memories: La rosa (The Rose; childhood memories) and Memorias, entendimientos y voluntades (Memories, Perceptions and Wills; youth memories). He was also a journalist, essayist, publisher of literary magazines, lecturer, painter, actor and much more.
In 1956, he set up and managed from Mallorca the magazine of literary creation Papeles de Son Armadans (‘’Papers of Son Armadans’’) – an essential magazine in order to understand Spanish post-war literature-, that remained active till 1979. 276 editions were published along its 23 years of life.
In 1957, with the support of Vicente Aleixandre, Gregorio Marañón and Joaquín Calvo-Sotelo he joined the Real Academia Española where he was given Seat Q. His admission speech, La obra literaria del pintor Solana (‘’The Literary Work of Solana, the Painter’’), was contested by Gregorio Marañón himself.
In 1977, King Juan Carlos I appointed him senator to the first Cortes Generales of the transition to democracy, and he took part in the drafting of the text of the Constitution.
He was awarded 25 doctorates Honoris Causa in 16 different countries from 4 continents, and his work was published and translated into more than 40 languages. In fact, according to many specialists La familia de Pascual Duarte (‘’The Family of Pascual Duarte’’) is considered the most published and translated Spanish novel after El Quijote (‘’Don Quixote’’).