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Ernesto Sábato

Image of Ernesto Sábato

Ernesto Sábato was born in Rojas, in the province of Buenos Aires, in 1911. He obtained a doctorate in physics and philosophy from the Universidad de La Plata and worked in the Curie laboratory until 1945, when he abandoned science to devote himself to literature. His novels include El túnel (1948), Sobre héroes y tumbas (1961), and Abaddón el exterminador (1974), and he has also written many essays, including Uno y el universo (1945), Heterodoxia (1953), Hombres y engranajes (1991), El escritor y sus fantasmas (1963), and Apologías y rechazos (1979). Writers as diverse as Albert Camus, Graham Greene,Thomas Mann, Salvatore Quasimodo, Witold Gombrowicz, and Mance Nadeau have expressed their admiration for his work. In 1983 he was appointed president of the National Commission for Missing Persons of Argentina. As a result of its work, the Commission published the startling Nunca Más report, popularly known as the "Sabáto Report." The recent judgments by the Spanish judge Baltazar Garzón against dictatorship crimes in Argentina and Chile have called attention to Sabáto's work. Sabáto has been awarded many prizes for his literary and human rights work, including the Cervantes Prize (1984) and the Jerusalem Prize (1989). In 2002, at the age of 92, he traveled to Spain to receive the Golden Medal from the Fine Arts Circle of Madrid and the Honour Medal from the Carlos III University. In 1998, Sabáto published the memoir Antes del fin, which was widely translated. His most recent book is La resistencia (2002). The American actor John Malkovich has optioned the film rights for Sabáto's Sobre héroes y tumbas.

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