"Memoirs" is an essential part of the history of the twentieth century, not only because it is written by one of the century's great poets, but because Neruda was involved as a writer and a politician with an extraordinary range of people and events. He writes vividly about the friends he knew, from Lorca, Picasso and Gandhi to those events that he experienced, from the Spanish Civil War to his political career in Chile. Neruda was a poet, an ambassador and Presidential candidate, as well as being the most prolific and popular poet of his time. Neruda is one of the world's greatest poets and a seminal figure in every poetry movement of the twentieth century, he served also as a diplomat for Chile and travelled extensively. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and died in 1973.