Guerrilla-turned writer Belli takes prestigious literary award

6th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Nicaraguan author's blend of poetry and mystery wins prize

6 February 2008

MADRID - The Nicaraguan guerrilla-turned-writer Gioconda Belli was awarded the Biblioteca Breve Prize on Tuesday for her book El infinito en la palma de la mano (Infinity in the palm of your hand), a blend of poetry and mystery that recreates the life of Adam and Eve in paradise.

The EUR 30,000 prize, which is awarded by the publisher Seix Barral, went to Belli because of "her unique approach, her ability for evocation and her anthropological recreation of the original myth," said the jury, which includes established Spanish writers such as José Caballero Bonald and Rosa Montero.

Belli, 59, was a member of the Sandinista movement against the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua in the early 1970s, which led to her spending a four-year exile in Mexico before returning in 1979, when the Sandinistas took power, and working for the new government in media-related positions. She has been writing for decades, and her work has been recognised by a number of international awards, including Germany's Best Political Novel of the Year in 1989 for The Inhabited Woman, while her memoir The Country Under My Skin was a runner-up for the 2003 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Biblioteca Breve Award, which in the past has gone to writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Juan Benet and Jorge Volpi.

[Copyright EL PAÍS /SUSANA URRA 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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