Cuban novelist, essayist, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its "boom" period.
Perhaps Cuba's most important intellectual figure of the twentieth century, Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980) was a novelist, a classically trained pianist and musicologist, a producer of avant-garde radio programming, and an influential theorist of politics and literature. Best known for his novels, Carpentier also collaborated with such luminaries as Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Georges Bataille, and Antonin Artaud. Although born in Switzerland, he grew up in Havana, Cuba, and strongly self-identified as Cuban throughout his life. He was jailed and exiled and he lived for many years in France and Venezuela but returned to Cuba after the 1959 revolution. He died in Paris in 1980 and was buried in Havana.