Zarraluki wins Spain's oldest literary award

7th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 January 2005, BARCELONA- Pedro Zarraluki has won Spain's oldest literary honour, the Nadal Prize, for a novel set during the 1939-1975 dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco.

7 January 2005

BARCELONA- Pedro Zarraluki has won Spain's oldest literary honour, the Nadal Prize, for a novel set during the 1939-1975 dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco.

The Barcelona writer received the prestigious award and the cash prize of EUR 18,000 for his book "Un encargo dificil" (A Difficult Assignment).

Around 800 invited guests were on hand at the Hotel Ritz in Barcelona to see the prizes conferred on Zarraluki and runner-up Nicolas Casariego, author of "Los cazadores de luz" (The Light Hunters), who won a EUR 6,000 prize.

The plot of Zarraluki's novel, which was one of 273 considered by a panel of five judges that included last year's winner, Antonio Soler, unfolds on the Balearic island of Cabrera in the years following the fascist victory in Spain's 1936-1939 civil war.

In 1994, Zarraluki received the Herralde Prize for his novel "La historia del silencio" (The History of Silence).

Addressing a seminar several years ago at a Spanish university, he described literature as a "mixture of passion and appropriation" and said that "the writer is a great thief."

Although most of the 273 novels competing for the prize this year were by Spanish authors, there were also works by writers from Germany, Canada, Venezuela, the United States, Chile, France, Great Britain, Peru, Guatemala and Colombia.

After Zarraluki was announced as the winner, he commented, "I share with the late (U.S. author) Susan Sontag her idea that one of the main functions of the novel is to nourish the conscience."

"These days, the novel - apart from not losing its entertaining side - must try to affect our awareness of life," said Zarraluki, who spent three years writing the book.

Nadal Prize finalist Casariego said with regard to his own "Los cazadores de luz" that "(it's) a futuristic work, but treated in a realist tone, set in an imaginary city in which society is directed toward consumption and image."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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