Spain's culture minister, César Antonio Molina, announced last week that seventy-five-year-old Spanish novelist Juan Marsé has won the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s highest literary honor. Considered by some to be on the level of the Nobel Prize, the award comes with a cash stipend of 125,000 euros ($160,000).
Marsé’s novels are best known for their depictions of hardships endured during and after Spain’s 1930s civil war as well as exploring cultural rifts between classes. His novel Last Afternoons With Teresa (1966) won a Premio Biblioteca Breve award and was made into a movie in 1983. The Fallen (1976) was banned by Spain’s fascist dictator Francisco Franco but won the International Novel Prize after being published in Mexico. His most recent novel is Love Songs in Lolita’s Club (2005).
The Cervantes Prize, created in Spain in 1975, is presented in April by King Juan Carlos in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes.
Previous recipients include Argentine poet Juan Gelman, Jorge Luis Borges of Argentina, Mario Bargas Llosa of Peru, and Carlos Fuentes of Mexico.
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