Spanish novelist Ana Maria Matute wins Cervantes prize

24th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spanish novelist Ana Maria Matute was Wednesday awarded the Cervantes Prize, only the third woman to win the leading literary award for works in Spanish since it was first granted in 1976.

The 125,000-euros (169,000-dollar) award was announced by Spain's culture ministry.

It will be given to Matute, 85, on April 23, in recognition of the anniversary of the death in 1616 of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the author of "Don Quixote" and Spain's greatest literary figure.

Matute's works, including "The Lost Children" and "Soldiers Cry by Night", have been translated into 23 languages, the ministry said.

They deal with themes such as childhood and the loss of innocence, social injustice and the hardships in the aftermath of Spain's 1936-39 Civil War.

The Cervantes Prize is given out annually and it is traditionally granted to Spanish and Latin American authors in alternating years.

Last year's winner was Mexican poet Jose Emilio Pacheco. Previous winners include Jorge Luis Borges of Argentina, Peruvian-born Mario Vargas Llosa and Carlos Fuentes of Mexico.

© 2010 AFP

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