Friday, April 17, 2009

Spain’s queen of erotic novels dies

CORIN Tellado, Spain’s most prolific romantic novelist whose books sold over 400 million copies, died Saturday at the age of 81, three days after she finished her last novel, a hospital official said.

Tellado published around 4,000 books in a career that spanned over five decades, leading her to be listed in the 1994 Guinness World Records as the author who has sold the most books written in Spanish, her website said.

“Corin Tellado’s vast production of works will remain as a socio-cultural phenomena,” Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa once said of her.

Born Maria del Socorro Tellado Lopez on April 25, 1927, in the fishing village of Viavelez, she dictated her most recent works since poor vision prevented her from typing. She finished her last novel on Wednesday.

Many of her books were turned into radio serials, movies or television soap operas. Unlike best-selling contemporary European romance novelists such as Barbara Cartland and Victoria Holt who often wrote period pieces, Tellado stuck to contemporary settings.

She credited the right-wing dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain with an iron fist for much of the last century, for shaping her discreet style.

“As for my style, it was censorship that dictated it. Some novels came back with so much underlined text that all you could see was black. They taught me to insinuate, to suggest more than to show,” she is quoted as saying on her website.

But after Franco’s death in 1975, Tellado published 26 erotic novels — 16 under the pen name Ada Miller and the rest under the name Ada Miller Leswy — which she said were easier to write than her other novels because they did not deal with emotions.

The only girl of five siblings, she studied in a school run by nuns. Her first novel, Atrevida Apuesta or Daring Bet, was published in October 1946 when she was just 19. Tellado will be buried on Monday in Gijon.

From TODAY, Plus - Monday, 13-April-2009

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