Author María Kodama dies at 86

She was Jorge Luis Borges’ widow and sole owner of the rights to his work

María Kodama, 86, author and widow to Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges passed away this morning. She died at the same age as Argentina’s most famous writer.

Kodama was the author of several books, including Relatos (Tales), Homenaje a Borges (Tribute to Borges) and La divisa punzó (The Punched Badge)

She was born in Buenos Aires on March 10, 1937, and met Borges while studying literature, with whom she shared alove for the English language. She helped him write his “Brief Anglo-Saxon Anthology” (1978) and Atlas (1984) when they traveled to the United States in 1975 as colleagues. 

He was 38 years older than her. They married in Asuncion, Paraguay, in April 1986, only a few months before he passed away. 

Borges bequeathed his estate to Kodama and after his death, she became the president of the Jorge Luis Borges International Foundation in Buenos Aires. In 2021, she told Télam that if she had known, she “wouldn’t have accepted”.

“I asked “how come no one told me?” she said of the moment she was informed of the decision by Borges’ lawyer. “He told me that Borges had ordered him to wait until he died to tell me, knowing I wouldn’t have accepted otherwise.”

Until today, she was the sole owner of the rights to all of his works.  

Fervor of Buenos Aires, Borges’ first poetry collection, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and is one of the themes for the Buenos Aires International Book Fair in April.

-with information from Télam


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