Gregory Rabassa, prominent literary translator, passed away on 14 June 2016 in Branford, Connecticut following a brief illness. He was 94. Rabassa is known for his translations of several well-known Latin American writers, including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Julio Cortazar, Octavio Paz, Clarice Lispector and Jorje Amado.
About Gregory Rabassa
• A longtime professor at Queens College, Rabassa was an essential gateway to the 1960s Latin American boom, when authors Garcia Marquez, Cortazar and Mario Vargas Llosa became widely known.
• He broke into mainstream publishing in the 1960s when an editor at Pantheon Books asked him to translate Cortazar's Hopscotch, a novel for which Rabassa won a National Book Award in 1967.
• He also worked on the novel which defined the boom, Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, a monument of 20th century literature.
• Rabassa's other translations included Garcia Marquez's The Autumn of the Patriarch, Vargas Llosa's Conversation in the Cathedral and Jorge Amado's Captains of the Sand.
• In 2001, Rabassa received a lifetime achievement award from the PEN American Centre for contributions to Hispanic literature.
• He was presented a National Medal of Arts in 2006 for translations which continue to enhance our cultural understanding and enrich our lives.
• He was born in Yonkers, New York in 1922 and served as a cryptographer during World War II.