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Monday, January 10, 2011

María Elena Walsh dies at age 80

Argentine musician and writer María Elena Walsh, known for her songs and books for children, died at the age of 80 at the Sanatorio de la Trinidad clinic where she had been hospitalized.

The remains of the artist will be buried at the Chacarita cemetery.

Walsh was born to an English railway worker, of Irish descent, who played the piano and an Argentine woman of Andalusian descent.

At the age of 15, Walsh had some of her poems published in the "El Hogar" magazine and La Nación newspaper. In 1947, before graduating from art school, she published her first book, “Otoño Imperdonable,” a selection of poems which was critically acclaimed and received recognition from important Latin American writers.

Walsh graduated in 1948, traveled to North America and Europe, then moved to Paris for four years in the early 1950s. While there, Walsh performed in concerts featuring Argentine folklore.

Returning to Argentina, Walsh wrote numerous TV scripts, plays, poems, books and songs. Her work has often contained an underlying political message, as in the song "El País del Nomeacuerdo" ("The Country of Idontremember"), which was later used as the theme song for The Official Story, the winner of the 1985 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

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