Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, executive assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., July 3, 2018—Williams College Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature Soledad Fox Maura’s biography Exile, Writer, Soldier, Spy: Jorge Semprún (Arcade Publishing, 2018) looks at the tumultuous true-life story of the Oscar-nominated screenwriter responsible for The War Is Over (1966) and Z (1969).
Born in Spain, Jorge Semprún (1923-2011) enjoyed a privileged childhood until his world was shattered by the Spanish Civil War. Adopting a rebellious spirit, he fought with the French Resistance in World War II and survived imprisonment at Buchenwald. After the war, he became an organizing member of the exiled Spanish communist party, maintaining the appearance of a normal civilian life while keeping one step ahead of Francisco Franco’s secret police for years. Semprún later put his experiences on paper, becoming an internationally acclaimed author and screenwriter.
Fox Maura has written about and taught Jorge Semprún’s work since 2001. In her July 1 Salon article, Fox Maura described Semprún as a person who “rose to every opportunity and challenge presented by his epoch. The outcome was that he was able to live multiple, often contradictory, lives. For those who knew him, his death was more than a personal loss. It meant the disappearance of a key witness to the twentieth century, and of a figure who had become synonymous with Europe’s past and present.”
Soledad Fox Maura holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is a former Fulbright senior research scholar and has published two books and many articles on Spanish culture and the history of the Spanish Civil War.
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.