Justo Vasco, RIP

The International Association of Crime Writers reported in its most recent newsletter that one of its founding members, Justo Vasco, died last Sunday of a stroke at the age of 63.

The Cuban-born author moved to Spain in 1996, settling in Gijon with his wife, Cristina Macia, his son Enrique and 3 year old daughter Laura, all of whom survive him.

Rebecca Pawel sent along a tribute written by Mariano Sanchez Soler, which she has helpfully translated into English:

“Justo participated in our writing workshop [at the University of Alicante], he wrote for us, and he gave us the gift of his friendship and his knowledge.  He was a great person and a truly committed writer. In addition to the anger we feel at his loss, we owe him our thanks. As Vallejo’s poem says, in spite of feeling so much love we can do nothing against death, but we want to show our gratitud  to a generous friend, who we will never again be able to chat with about literature or life. Although he will always remain with us.”

Pawel further added the following: “Justo should be known as the Spanish translator of THE LONG GOODBYE, and also the organizing and moving spirit behind the wonderful Semana Negra de Gijon. He was a warm, wise, generous, funny man, who had the gift of making himself loved, and neglected his own writing to promote others through the Semana.”