Mexican journalist and author Elena Poniatowska has won the 2013 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s highest literary honor.
The Education, Culture and Sports Minister Jose Ignacio Wert, announced today the failure for the Miguel de Cervantes Award for literature in the Castilian Spanish Language, which in the last edition was awarded to poet and writer José Caballero Bonald, praising Poniatowska’s brilliant and diverse literary and journalistic career.
Poniatowska, 81, was born in Paris and has lived most of her life in Mexico. Her books, among them «Massacre in Mexico» and «The Skin of the Sky,» deal with social and political issues, highlighting the problems of the poor and underprivileged.
The jury, chaired by the president of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), José Manuel Blecua, stressed his «brilliant literary career in various genres, particularly narrative, and his exemplary dedication to journalism».
«Her work stands out for her strong commitment to the contemporary history. Author of emblematic works that describe the twentieth century, from an international and inclusive projection», highlighted the jury, and then added that «Poniatowska is one of the most powerful voices in the curent Spanish literature».
The €125,000 prize generally alternates between Spanish and Latin American writers. Previous winners include Carlos Fuentes of Mexico, and Nobel prize winners Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru and Spain’s late Camilo Jose Cela.
On April 23, 2014 – anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes – the Kings of Spain will be presenting this award, considered the Nobel Prize of the Spanish literature, at a ceremony to be held in the Paraninfo of the University of Alcalá de Henares, birthplace of the writer.
Miguel de Cervantes Prize of Literature of Castilian Language, most known as Cervantes Prize, is considered as the most important prize of literature in Spanish. Every year, into a solemn ceremony chaired by the Monarchs, the prize is awarded in the magnificent Cisnerian Assembly Hall in the University of Alcalá de Henares. The award is always conceded on April 23rd, on Book Day, and the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes.
Since its creation in 1976, most prestigious authors have received the prize, both Spanish and Latin American, from the poet of the generation of 27’, Jorge Guillén, the first awarded, to José Manuel Caballero Bonald, in 2012.