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Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Ghost-writing claims hit Nobel laureate
Camilo Josť Cela
Cela won the Noble prize for literature in 1989
Nobel prize-winning author Camilo Jose Cela has been accused of relying on ghost-writers.

The allegations were made in a new book about the Spanish literary giant, who died in January.

Tomas Garcia Yebra's Desmontando Cela (Dismantling Cela) accused the writer of hiring an army of ghost-writers, secretaries and collaborators from as early as the 1950s.

He names two of Cela's ghost-writers as Marcial Suarez and Mariano Tudela, both of whom are now dead.

Mr Yebra said the two writers lent their talent to Cela's 1951 masterpiece La Colmena (The Hive) and the Planeta prize winning La Cruz de San Andres (St Andrew's Cross).

The investigative journalist reached his conclusions after consulting archives and old manuscripts, as well as members of Cela's family, friends and enemies.

Plagiarism claims

The claims are certain to undermine the Nobel laureate's reputation, already tarnished by a plagiarism lawsuit in his later years.

Fellow Spanish writer Carmen Formoso Lapido took Cela to court claiming that a novel she wrote in the 1990s is the basis for Cela's book La Cruz de San Andres (The Cross of St Andrew).

La Cruz de San Andres won Spain's top literary award - the Planeta - in 1994.

Key works
The Family of Pascual Duarte
The Hive
San Camilo
Journey to the Alcarria
Jews, Moors and Christians
The Windmill and Other Short Fiction
The Secret Dictionary
Ms Formosa, a retired teacher, claims she entered her novel Carmen, Carmela, Carmina for the same prize.

Both books describe how practising black magic affects the lives of a group of women in Franco-era Spain.

The lawsuit was eventually shelved, but the damage to the writer's reputation had already been done.

Spanish fighter

Cela was born in Galicia in north-west Spain.

He fought and was badly wounded in the Spanish civil war, an experience that was said to have coloured his writing.

The novel that made is his name is The Family of Pascual Duarte, published in 1942, a powerful, sometimes gruesome book.

It was censored and banned under the dictatorship of General Franco, who died in 1975. But it is one of the best known works of Spanish literature.

Cela won the Nobel prize for literature in 1989.

Cela published some 70 books, including 10 novels, about 20 collections of stories, travel writing and essays.

See also:

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