Juan Benet (bənet´), 1927–93, Spanish novelist and essayist. He earned a degree in civil engineering and worked as a highway engineer before publishing (1961) his first work, Nunca llegarás a nada [you'll never amount to anything]. He gained major success in 1967 with his novel, Volverás a Región [you will return to Región], set in a mythical area of Spain called Región. He returned to this setting in A Meditation (1969, tr. 1983); Benet received critical acclaim for his experimental and complex style. Other works include En el estado [in the state] (1977).