Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo dies aged 86

 Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo at an interview at the National Library in Madrid, Spain, on April 21, 2015.
Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo at an interview at the National Library in Madrid, Spain, on April 21, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

MADRID (AFP) - Juan Goytisolo, one of Spain's most celebrated writers, whose work was banned during the Franco era, has died aged 86, his agent said.

Goytisolo died on Sunday (June 4) at his home in Morocco, surrounded by his family, according to a statement from the Carmen Balcells agency in Barcelona.

In 2014, his work won him the coveted Cervantes literary prize, Spain's version of the Nobel.

Goytisolo built his reputation as a novelist, essayist and poet, always willing to take a non-conformist line. He was known for his defence of the Arab world and for his links with Latin America.

Although widely respected today, his work was banned in Spain at the time of General Francisco Franco's military dictatorship.

His family said he had suffered ill health in recent months and a fractured hip had left him needing the use of a wheelchair.