Cuban au­thor wins top Span­ish prize for lit­er­a­ture

The China Post - - LIFE -

Cuban nov­el­ist Leonardo Padura, whose crime nov­els ex­plore Ha­vana’s grubby un­der­side, was on Wed­nes­day awarded Spain’s Princess of Asturias award for lit­er­a­ture.

The award foun­da­tion hailed the Ha­vana-born au­thor’s work as a “mag­nif­i­cent adventure of dia­logue and free­dom.”

“Via his fic­tion, Padura re­veals the chal­lenges and lim­its in­volved in the search for truth. An im­pec­ca­ble ex­plo­ration of his­tory and the ways of re­count­ing,” it added in a state­ment.

Padura, is best known for his quar­tet of de­tec­tive nov­els — “Ha­vana Blue,” Ha­vana Black,” “Ha­vana Red” and “Ha­vana Gold” — fea­tur­ing Mario Conde, a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer who would rather be a writer.

The 59-year-old has also writ­ten es­says and screen­plays, short sto­ries as well as in­ter­views and is con­sid­ered to be one of Cuba’s ally.

“I feel re­ally hon­ored to win this prize, one of the most im­por­tant prizes in the world of lit­er­a­ture,” the writer told AFP in Ha­vana.

“I think that my work al­ways at­tempted to give a vi­sion of Cuban re­al­ity and an un­der­stand­ing of this re­al­ity through dia­logue and in­tel­lect,” he said.

The 50,000-euro ($54,000) award is one of eight prizes handed out yearly by a foun­da­tion named for Crown Princess Leonor. Other cat­e­gories in­clude the arts, sport and sci­en­tific re­search.

The awards will be handed out in a cer­e­mony presided by Spain’s King Felipe and broad­cast live on Span­ish tele­vi­sion around Oc­to­ber. They were named the Prince of Asturias awards af­ter Felipe, un­til he be­came king last year, pass­ing the ti­tle to his nine-year-old daugh­ter, Princess Leonor.

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AFP

Cuban writer Leonardo Padura of­fers an in­ter­view to AFP, in Ha­vana on Wed­nes­day, June 10.

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