MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan writer Tomas de Mattos died early Monday in the central city of Tacuarembo after suffering a stroke while walking down the street, sources close to the deceased told EFE. He was 68.
In 1989, De Mattos won the Bartolome Hidalgo award, Uruguay’s most important literary prize, for his novel “Bernabe, Bernabe.”
The novel, widely regarded as his masterpiece, deals with historical events linked to the death of military commander Bernabe Rivera, the nephew of Uruguay’s first president, Fructuoso Rivera.
Bernabe Rivera died after launching, on April 11, 1831, what became known as the Salsipuedes campaign, which all but wiped out the Charrua Indians.
“It was his emblematic work because what it meant at the time it was published, in connection with certain historical figures in our country,” Juan Ubiria, De Mattos’ long-time editor, told EFE.
Other notable works by the Uruguayan author were “La puerta de la Misericordia,” an account of the life of Jesus, and a fictionalized biography of late-19th-century education reformer Jose Pedro Varela.