Alicia Steimberg, the Argentinian writer best known for the novel Musicians and Watchmakers (Musicos y relojeros) (1971), has died at the age of 78. The cause of death was a heart attack.
Steimberg’s great-grandfather had moved to Argentina from Russia in the late 19th century, settling in one of the Jewish enclaves of Entre Rios. Musicians and Watchmakers, her debut novel, was a semi-autobiographical attempt by Steimberg to make sense of her Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian ancestry. Like many of her books, it also uses humour to deal with the great personal and economic problems afflicting Argentina.
Following the success of Musicians and Watchmakers, Alicia Steimberg continued to write regularly, and she won some of Latin America’s biggest literary prizes. Only a handful of her books have so far been translated into English.