Writers who have recently died:

Swedish writer Börge Hellström died on 17th February aged 59; he was best known as one half of the writing duo Roslund & Hellström...Dutch author and illustrator Dick Bruna died on 16th February aged 98; he is best known for his children's books, his most notable creation is Miffy (Nijntje in the original Dutch)...English-Irish poet Tom Raworth died on 8th February aged 78, he was a key figure in the British Poetry Revival....Canadian novelist Richard B. Wright died on 7th February aged 79, he is best known for his award winning novel Clara Callan (2001)...American poet Thomas Lux died on 5th February aged 70...Pakistani novelist Bano Qudsia died on 4th February aged 88, her best known work is Raja Gidh (1981)...Albanian poet and writer Dritëro Agolli died on 3rd February aged 85...African-American novelist William Melvin Kelley died on 1st February aged 79; he is best known for his debut novel, A Different Drummer, published in 1962...Nigerian novelist Buchi Emecheta died on 25th January aged 72, her best known novels include The Bride Price (1976) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979)...British author Douglas Reeman / Alexander Kent died on 23rd January aged 92 he wrote historical fiction about the Royal Navy, mainly set during either World War II or the Napoleonic Wars....Award winning Dutch writer and poet Robert Anker died on 20th January aged 70...Jamaican novelist Peter Abrahams died on 18th January aged 97...South Korean novelist Jung Mikyung died 18th January aged 56...English children's author and illustrator Babette Cole died on 15th January aged 66; her books include Princess Smartypants (1986) and Prince Cinders (1987)...Italian author Giulio Angioni died on 12th January aged 77...American author of The Exorcist (1971), William Peter Blatty, died on 12th January aged 89...

Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616)

Death: 23rd April 1616
Location: Convento de las Trinitarias, Madrid, Spain
Photo taken by: DeadGoodBooks

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Spanish writer. Author of Don Quixote de la Mancha, which is considered by many to be the first modern novel and one of the greatest works in Western literature. 
Cervantes was the third child of Rodrigo de Cervantes, a surgeon, in those days an ill-paid profession of low repute. Due to the itinerant life-style of his family little is known of his early life. In 1569 he left Madrid for Rome, the reasons for which are unclear. According to some sources a warrant was issued for his arrest for having dueled and wounded a man. In Rome he joined a Spanish regiment and lost the use of his left hand while fighting in the Battle of Lepanto against the Turks in 1571. The following year he took part in Juan of Austria's campaigns in Navarino, Corfu, and Tunis. In 1575, while returning to Spain, he was captured by Barbary pirates based in Algiers. A ransom of 500 gold ducats was set. He was freed in 1580 when his ransom was paid. 
The experience of 5 years in captivity inspired numerous passages in his work. Upon returning penniless to Spain, he married Catalina de Salazar in 1584 and lived in the town of Esquivias, Toledo. He was a supplier of provisions to the Spanish Armada and a tax collector for a while. He began writing Don Quixote in 1597 while imprisoned in Sevilla for debt. Part I was published in 1605; Part II did not appear until 1615.
The exact location of Cervantes within the Convento de las Trinitarias is unknown as the original church was refurbished at the end of the 17th century and all traces of the author's resting place were lost.
The Spanish language literary award Premio Miguel de Cervantes was named in his honour.

Jean Genet (1910-1986)

Death: 15th April 1986
Cause of death: Accidental - died as a result of a fall in a hotel room
Location: Spanish Cemetery, Larache, Morocco
Photo taken by:  Iain MacFarlaine

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French writer. Genet had a difficult childhood and ended up in a young offenders prison. He joined the Foreign Legion when he was eighteen, but he  was given a dishonourable discharge on grounds of indecency (having been caught engaged in a homosexual act).  He then  across Europe, financing the trip by theft and selling himself - experiences he recounts in The Thief's Journal (1949).  He returned to Paris in 1937 and spent time in prison for lewd acts and theft.  Whilst in prison he wrote the novel Our Lady of the Flowers (1944).  Genet met Jean Cocteau, who was impressed by his writing. Cocteau used his contacts to get Genet's novel published, and in 1949, when Genet was threatened with a life sentence after ten convictions, Cocteau and other prominent figures, including Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picasso, successfully petitioned the French President to have the sentence set aside. Genet would never return to prison.  By the end of 1949 he had produced five novels, three plays and countless works of poetry.  His writing was banned in the United States due to his portrayal of homosexuality. During the 60’s he was involved in political activism and drew attention to the treatment of immigrants in France.

Terenci Moix (1942-2003)

Deir el-Medina
Photo taken by: Steve F-E-Cameron
Death: 2nd April 2003
Cause of death: Emphysema
Location: Cremated, ashes scattered in three different locations: Deir-el-Medina and Alexandria Bay, Egypt and Carrer de Joaquín Costa, Barcelona

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Catalan writer born in Barcelona. He studied in a business school and had various jobs. In the 60’s
Photo taken by:
Terenci travelled around Europe. After his return to Spain he started writing articles for the film magazine Fotogramas, and published his first novel. He had a passion for cinema and history which is reflected in his work. Along with several novels he also wrote travel books, theatre and television scripts and film essays. 
Openly gay, his work criticised Spanish society, especially during Franco’s dictatorship. Terenci wrote in both Spanish and Catalan and he received some of the most important literary prizes of both languages.

Enid Bagnold (1889-1981)

Death:  31st March 1981
Location:  St. Margaret's Church, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England
Photo taken by:  DeadGoodBooks

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British author and playwright. Daughter of an officer in the Royal Engineers who was educated in both England and Switzerland after spending time as a child in Jamaica. 
When war broke out in 1914 she joined the Voluntary Aid detachment and served as a nurse at a military hospital in Woolwich. She wrote a critical pamphlet about her experiences and was dismissed; she then volunteered as a driver in France for the remainder of the war.
After the war she worked as a journalist for Hearth and House and The Modern Society. She married Sir Roderick Jones in 1920, becoming Lady Jones, but continued to use her maiden name for her writing. She is best remembered for National Velvet (1935), which was made into a film in 1944 staring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney.

John Donne (1572-1631)

Death: 31st March 1631
Location: St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England
Cause of Death: Cancer - stomach
Photo taken by: Lee Kottner

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English Jacobean metaphysical poet and preacher. Several of his sermons influenced works of English literature, including Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, which took its title from a passage in Donne's Meditation XVII.
Donne was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral and a memorial statue was erected in his memory which was based on a drawing of Donne as he lay dying. The memorial was one of the few that survived the Great Fire of London, although traces of fire damage can be seen on the bottom of the memorial.

Vera Brittain (1893-1970)

Photo taken by: Nordavind
Death: 29th March 1970 
Location: Cremated, ashes scattered on the grave of her brother, Edward Brittain, at Granezza British Cemetery, Asiago Plateau, Italy and on the grave of her husband, George Catlin, at St James the Great Churchyard, Old Milverton, Warwickshire, England

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British writer, feminist and pacifist, best remembered as the author of the best-selling 1933 memoir Testament Of Youth, recounting her experiences during World War I. She studied English Literature at Somerville College, Oxford, she delayed her degree after one year in the summer of 1915 in order to work as a V.A.D. nurse for much of the First World War. Her fiancé, two other close friends, and her brother Edward Brittain MC were all killed during the war.

Returning to Oxford after the war she met Winifred Holtby, and a close friendship developed with both aspiring to become established on the London literary scene. The bond lasted until Holtby's death in 1935. In 1925 Brittain married George Catlin, a political scientist and philosopher.  Vera Brittain never fully got over the death of her brother Edward. When she died, aged 76, her will requested that her ashes be scattered on Edward's grave – "...for nearly 50 years much of my heart has been in that Italian village cemetery".