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Mexican writer Sergio Pitol dies at home

Xalapa, Veracruz — Mexican writer, Sergio Pitol, has died at his home in the city of Xalapa at the age of 85.

Pitol was born in Puebla 18 March 1933. His mother died when he was four. Soon after her death he contracted malaria, forcing him to remain confined until he was 12. When he recovered, he thought about traveling, a passion that became the engine of his life and his literary creations.

His grandmother raised him and instilled a passion for reading. By the age of 12, he was already familiar with Verne, Stevenson, Dickens and Tolstoy.

He graduated in Law and Philosophy from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1960, and began a diplomatic career that saw him become ambassador to Prague (1983-1988) and, as an attaché and cultural adviser, to Belgrade, Warsaw, Rome, Beijing, Paris, Budapest, Moscow and Barcelona (1969-1972).

He was also a professor in Xalapa where, in 1993, he established residence.

Throughout his life, Pitol wrote two fundamental books on Mexican culture, The art of flight (1996) and Passion for the plot (1998) along with more than a dozen other pieces of literary work.