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Top Spanish literature award for Mexican Fernando del Paso

November 12, 2015

The Cervantes Prize is the most important literary honor of the Spanish-speaking world. This year, the accolade goes to a multi-talented monument of Mexican culture, Fernando del Paso.

Fernando del Paso, Copyright: picture-alliance/epa/U. Ruiz Basurto
Image: picture-alliance/epa/U. Ruiz Basurto

The 80-year old Mexican novelist and poet is this year's winner of the Cervante Prize, announced the Spanish Culture Minister Inigo Méndez on Thursday (12.11.2015). The award comes with 125,000 euros ($134,106) in cash.

The award recognizes del Paso's "contribution to the development of novels combining tradition and modernity," said the president of the jury Inés Fernández Ordónez. "His work is part of the history of Latin American history," she added.

Born in Mexico City in 1935, Del Paso is not only recognized as an author. He spent several years working in London for the BBC and in France for Radio France, and was briefly a diplomat in Mexico.

His most important work is his 1986 masterpiece "Noticias del Imperio," translated as "News from the Empire" (2009). The encyclopedic work tells the story of Maximilian of Austria and his wife, Carlota, the short-lived Emperor and Empress of Mexico in the 19th century. James Joyce and William Faulkner can be counted among the literary influences of the author.

The award will be handed out by the King of Spain, Felipe VI, on April 23, 2016 - the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, author of "Don Quixote."

eg / jgt (dpa, AP)

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