Daniel Chavarría Wins Cuba’s 2010 National Literature Award

Uruguayan novelist living in Cuba, Daniel Chavarría, was named winner of the 2010 National Literature Award, the island’s most prestigious literary honor. The author—whose full name is Daniel Edmundo Chavarría Bastélica—was born in November 1933 in San José de Mayo, Uruguay. He has resided in Cuba since 1969, where he has been a novelist, scriptwriter, translator of German literature, and professor of Latin and Greek at the University of Havana. Chavarría explains, “I am a Uruguayan citizen and will never stop being one, but at the same time I am a Cuban writer, because as a novelist I started here writing about Cuba, the country, its exploits and its people.”

The Latin American Herald Tribune announced that Chavarría was chosen for the prize on Friday for “the dazzling imaginative and linguistic richness of his many works,” which have been “the key to a new look for detective novels set in Latin America.” About receiving the prize, the author commented, “I see myself as a very fulfilled author, but this prize makes me very happy.” The award will be presented to Chavarría at a ceremony on February 11, 2011, as part of the program of the upcoming 20th Havana International Book Fair.

This year he has won two prizes: Cuba’s National Literature Award and the Bartolomé Hidalgo Prize awarded by the Uruguay Book Chamber. He has also won other honors, such as the 1992 Dashiell Hammett Prize, the 1992/93 Planeta-Joaquín Mortiz International Prize for the Novel, the 2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award in New York, and in Cuba the 2000 Casa de las Americas Prize, the 2004 Alejo Carpentier Prize, and the 2005 Camilo José Cela Prize in Palma de Mallorca. The jury for the 2010 National Literature Award, who judged the 14 nominated authors, included intellectuals Ambrosio Fornet, Enrique Sainz, Emilia Gallego, Leonardo Sarria, and Arturo Arango.

Chavarría began his literary career in Cuba, where he published his first best-selling novel, Joy. He has published over a dozen novels including El ojo de Cibeles [The Eye of Cybele], El rojo en la pluma del loro [The Red on the Parrot’s Feather], Adiós muchachos [Good-bye, Guys], Príapos, Una pica en Flandes [A Stake in Flanders], and Viudas de sangre [Widows of Blood], among others. He has also written numerous literary and political articles, scripts for movies and television, as well as short stories and educational material.

For full articles, see http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=381894&CategoryId=14510, http://alocubano.nireblog.com/post/2010/12/17/daniel-chavarria-premio-nacional-de-liberatura-cuba-2010 and http://www.45-rpm.net/antiguo/palante/chavarria.htm

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