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Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax; 713/743-8199

January 27, 2004

Contact: Eric Gerber
713/743-8189 (office)


As the son of a Mexican diplomat, young Carlos Fuentes found himself living abroad in Washington, D.C., Chile, Argentina and Switzerland during his youth. He occupied himself writing eccentric short stories – a pastime that eventually blossomed into a full-blown passion for literature. Today, Fuentes – who also cultivated a career in diplomacy -- stands as Mexico’s most celebrated novelist and essayist, and one of the greatest literary figures in the Spanish-speaking world.

He will deliver the University of Houston annual Farfel Distinguished Lecture at 7 p.m., Feb. 11, in Moores Opera House. The event is free, but seating is limited and tickets must be reserved by calling 713-743-2255.

Fuentes’ presentation is titled “The Creative Spirit as a Force for Humanism.”

Fuentes, who has so admirably balanced vocations in writing, academics and international relations, served as Mexico’s ambassador to France in the 1970s. He has been awarded the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the highest honor for a Spanish-language author, and France’s Legion of Honor. His best known novels include “The Old Gringo,” “The Death of Artemio Cruz” and “Terra Nostra.”

Currently, Fuentes is the Robert F. Kennedy Professor of Latin American Studies at Harvard.

Fuentes joins an impressive lineup of previous Farfel lecturers, including actress and educator Anna Deveare Smith, renowned historian David McCullough, novelist and MIT physicist Alan Lightman and Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. The Farfel Distinguished Lecture series is UH’s most prestigious lectureship. Designed to bring provocative thinkers in every field to the university and to the Houston community at large, it is endowed though a generous gift from the family of philanthropists Aaron and Esther Farfel in their memory. Aaron Farfel served on the University of Houston Board of Regents for 16 years, and was chairman from 1971 to 1979.

WHAT: Farfel Distinguished Lecture: “The Creative Spirit as a Force for Humanism”
WHEN: 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 11
WHERE: Moores Opera House
Entrance 16
Parking in Lots 16B, 16C
WHO: Carlos Fuentes

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