Nersys Felipe Receives Cuba’s 2011 National Prize for Literature

Novelist, poet, and short story writer Nersys Felipe won Cuba’s 2011 National Prize for Literature for her work, which has been mainly dedicated to literature for children and young adults.

Jury members voted for Felipe, choosing her from 18 other contestants, for “the sustained quality of her work for children and youth, anchored in the deepest roots of Cuban culture, but in a dialogue with the best of the genre.” The jury was headed by 2010 National Literature Prize winner, Cuban-Uruguayan novelist Daniel Chavarría, and members included critic Zaida Capote Cruz, essayist José Antonio Baujín, and poets Georgina Herrera and Nelson Simón.

Felipe, who was born in 1935, pronounced, “I am living one of the happiest moments of my life; the award filled me with joy and rendered immense expressions of affection.” She added that, after the initial nervousness, she was “overcome by a great satisfaction because the award establishes recognition of the cubanía (Cubanness) within my texts and of all literature of this genre [literature for children and young adults] on the island. [. . .] At that moment, I thought of Cuentos de Guane, my most polished and appealing volume, and also of [writer] Dora Alonso, a reference for all of us who follow in her footsteps.”

The writer—who was twice recognized by the Casa de las Américas Literary Prize, was founder of the Guiñol Theater Group of Pinar del Río, and taught at the Provincial School of Art [Escuela Provincial de Arte]—insists that the greatest reward is the love that she has received from young readers and their families.

For full article (in Spanish), see

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