Spain Honors Latin American Authors

    Two prestigious prizes out of Spain, the Premio Cervantes and the Cadiz Cortes IberoAmerican Freedom Prize, were awarded to authors from Latin America.

    Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Novel Prize in Literature was unanimously selected by the jury for Spain's Cadiz Cortes IberoAmerican Freedom Prize, as the recipient of the 2014 award.

    The jury praised the writer for his "untarnished defense of liberty, both in the press and in politics, and his efforts to maintain the perfection of the Spanish language through his literature," the Cadiz municipal government said in a statement.

    The author of "Conversation in the Cathedral" said nothing could please him more than to "receive this honor, which at the same time is a mandate to act with rigor, honesty and coherence."

    The Cadiz municipal government established the Freedom Prize in 2009 to pay tribute to "people or public or private institutions that are notable for deepening, disseminating and extending freedom in the Ibero-American sphere. Last year, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica was the winner of this Spanish award.

    Meanwhile Elena Poniatowska became the first Mexican female writer to win the prestigious Premio Cervantes in Literature.

    The jury act cited "her brilliant literary career in many genres, especially in narrative and her exemplary dedication to journalism. Her work is notable for her firm commitment to contemporary history. She has written emblematic works that describe the 20th century from an international and comprehensive perspective. Elena Poniatowska constitutes one of the most powerful voices in the Spanish-language literature of today.”

    The jury members included José Manuel Caballero Bonald, winner in 2012 members of the Spanish Royal Academy; the Paraguayan Academy of the Spanish Language; the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE); the Union of Latin American Universities (UDUAL); and the Instituto Cervantes among other institutions. Their verdict also highlighted her brilliant career in different literary genres.

    Elena Poniatowska's work includes novel, essay, chronicle and interviews in over 35 books that give testimony of a life dedicated to literature. Her books published by Planeta are El universo o nada (Seix Barral, 2013); Leonora (Seix Barral, 2011), winner in 2011 of the Biblioteca Breve prize; Octavio Paz. Las palabras del árbol (Joaquín Mortiz, 2009); La herida de Paulina (Planeta, 2007) and Amanecer en el Zócalo (Planeta, 2007). And on her, this publishing house has also released Elenísima, a biography by Michael K. Schuessler (Booket, 2013).

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