The 2016 Cervantes Prize, the highest literary honor in the Spanish-speaking world, goes to Spanish novelist Eduardo Mendoza. With a unique voice, he took a new look at the crime novel, but explored other genres, too.
Eduardo Mendoza will receive the award for his body of work, including many books which are set in his native Barcelona and which provide a historical accounting of the city.
After studying law and working as an interpreter at the United Nations in New York City, Mendoza published his first novel in 1975. "La verdad sobre el caso Savolta" (The Truth About the Savolta case) is a thriller that takes place in the Savolta weapons manufacturer and includes anarchists and a violent underworld.
Reinventor of the crime novel
The 73-year-old author's humorous take on the detective novel ushered in a new era of storytelling in Spanish literature. His is a unique voice, which has won many fans even in translation.
His other works include "La ciudad de los prodigios" (The City of Marvels, 1986), "El Año del Diluvio" (The Year of the Flood), a fictional look at post-war Spain and "Una comedia ligera" (A Light Comedy).
A five-book saga parodied detective novels and gothic narratives along with two science-fiction novels round off his oeuvre.
The Cervantes Prize, announced by Spain's Education and Culture Minister Inigo Mendez de Vigo on Wednesday comes with an endowment of 125,000 euros ($132,000) and will be handed out on April 23, the anniversary of "Don Quixote" author Miguel de Cervantes' death.
Previous recipients of the Cervantes Prize include Mario Vargas Llosa and Juan Marsé.
ct/kbm (ap, dpa)