By The Associated Press
BUCHAREST, Romania — Romanian writer Fanus Neagu, who was known for his stories about villages on the River Danube and his football commentaries, has died. He was 79.
Bucharest's Elias Hospital said in a statement Neagu died early Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
President Traian Basescu calls him "a symbol of a generation." Former President Ion Iliescu and fellow writers have sent their condolences.
Writer Augustin Buzura says Neagu was "a creator obsessed by the beauty of the Romanian language and of places that he described like no one else."
Neagu's novels were inspired by village life near the Danube where he grew up. He also was director of the National Theater from 1993 to 1996.
He will be buried in Bucharest on Thursday