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Author Mejia Vallejo Dies at 75

July 24, 1998

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ Manuel Mejia Vallejo, the award-winning Colombian novelist noted for his realistic depictions of urban and rural life, died Thursday at age 75.

Along with Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Alvaro Mutis, he was among the most important writers in a country with one of Latin America’s strongest literary traditions.

Mejia Vallejo died at his country estate outside Medellin after suffering two recent strokes.

Much of his work dealt with the social upheavals that occurred in and around his native Medellin. An outspoken leftist, he was forced into exile in Venezuela and Central America in the 1950s.

Mejia Vallejo wrote his first novel, ``It Was Us,″ at age 22. In 1962, he won Spain’s Nadal Prize for his novel ``The Marked Day.″ He won Venezuela’s Romulo Gallegos prize in 1989 for ``The House of the Two Palms.″

There was no word on survivors or funeral plans.

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