Carlos Fuentes was born in 1928. He attended the National University of Mexico and did graduate work at the Institute des Hautes Etudes in Switzerland. In addition to writing, Fuentes has taught at a number of universities, including Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, and Brown. He has also served as the ambassador of Mexico to France. Primarily known as a novelist, Fuentes has also written essays and screenplays. His interest in the history of his country is a central theme in his novels. These include The Death of Artemio Cruz, The Old Gringo, which was later adapted as a film, and Terra Nostra. Terra Nostra won Fuentes the Romulo Gallegos Prize in Venezuela. Fuentes was also awarded the Cervantes Prize from the Spanish Ministry of Culture.