Cuban Writer Leonardo Padura Wins French Literary Prize

Cuban writer and journalist Leonardo Padura, famous for his crime novels, will receive the 2011 Roger Caillois French Literary Prize for Latin American Literature on December 7.
According to, Padura’s most famous work is his tetralogy ‘Cuatro Estaciones’ (Four Seasons), which has been translated into 17 languages.His latest novel ‘El hombre que amaba a los perros’ (The Man Who Loved Dogs), published in Cuba by the Union and published in a French translation this year, earned him the Cuban 2011 Literary Critic Award.
In the novel, Padura delves into the story of the murder of Leon Trotsky –born in Ukraine in 1879 and exiled in Mexico, where he was killed on August 21, 1940, by a Spanish citizen, Ramón Mercader–– from the point-of-view of a Cuban vet living in Havana in the 21st century.
Padura said that although this book deals with Russia, Turkey, Norway, the United States, Mexico, and Cuba, it was written from the Cuban perspective, from his vision as a Cuban.
Padura’s reputation in Europe grew during the 1990’s as his Mario COnde novels gained an enthusiastic readership worldwide. He won the Dashiell Hammett Award from the International Association of Crime Writers for his novel ‘Paisajes de Otoño’, which is part of the Conde tetralogy.
Padura has also written several scripts for cinematographic documentaries like ‘Yo soy del son a la salsa’, which won the Coral Prize at the 18th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema of Havana.
In addition, Padura contributed to the elaboration of the script of a full-length film by Puerto Rican director Benicio del Toro, ‘Siete dias en la Habana’ (Seven Days in Havana), along with writer Eliseo Antunaga, and screenwriter and director Arturo Infante, which will be screened during the 33rd International Festival of New Latin American Cinema of Havana in December.
The Roger Caillois French Literary Prize for Latin American Literature was created in 1991 and has also been awarded to figures such as Carlos Fuentes, José Donoso, and Adolfo Bioy Casares.
Caillois, (France 1913-1978) was in charge of ‘La cruz del sur’ literature collection in the Gallimard publishing house and contributed to the spreading of Hispano-American Literature in France.

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