Lilliana Ramos-Collado reminds us that today, in Caracas, Venezuela, Puerto Rican novelist Eduardo Lalo will officially receive the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, one of the Spanish speaking world’s top literary awards. I will heed Ramos-Collado’s words: “At 6:00pm, stand up and applaud, whether you are in a traffic jam, in the kitchen going the dishes, listening to the news, or making love. It’s a day to celebrate one of our own [writers] who today receives applause from the entire planet.”
Lalo, who is the first Puerto Rican to win the prize, has been awarded for his novel Simone, which has been described as an urban love story with a mystery entwined [see previous post Puerto Rico’s Lalo wins Rómulo Gallegos lit award]. The novel triumphed in the 23rd edition of the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, named after Venezuela’s greatest 20th century author. Previous winners include Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez, Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa, and Mexico’s Carlos Fuentes. In mid-June, the Lalo inaugurated the XVIII International Book Fair in Lima.
Description of Simone: Set in the streets, taverns and other darker corners of San Juan, “a city normally associated with the sun and surf of the Caribbean,” his book is about a novelist who begins receiving anonymous messages in the form of quotes from famous writers. These lead him to a series of meetings, the last of which changes his life. Woven into the labyrinth is a tortured love story.