Many thanks to Ángeles Placer for bringing this item to our attention. Inter News Services reports that Puerto Rican writer (based in Massachusetts) Ernesto Guerra Frontera won the 2015 El Barco de Vapor Award for Children’s Literature (sponsored by Fundación SM) with the novel Las palabras perdidas [Lost Words]. Ernesto Guerra Frontera was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He studied Comparative Literature at Brown University and holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. Here are translated excerpts from the article.
[. . .] Guerra Frontera—who uses the pseudonym Florencio Flores Fernández—will receive the award (including $12,000 and a statuette) at a ceremony in April 2016 during the celebrations of International Day of Books and Copyright [Día Internacional del Libro y del Derecho de Autor].
The award winning book—chosen by a jury including writers Eduardo Lalo and Rafael Franco Steeves; the director of the University of Puerto Rico Press [Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico], Neeltje van Marissing; cultural manager and documentary director Caridad Sorondo; and the editorial director of SM, Diana Bernard—will be published by SM’s El Barco de Vapor Series.
With rich and polished writing, the novel Las palabras perdidas invents a new world, accurately recreating medieval life, with wonderful and fantastic flair.
Guerra Frontera graduated from Brown and Harvard University and at present teaches in a secondary institution in Boston [Roxbury Latin]. In 2006 he published Tú, ellos y los otros [You, Them, and the Others], for children eight years and older, illustrated by the author.
Las palabras perdidas (2015 El Barco de Vapor Award), tells the story of Prince Vermudo, an heir to the throne who, at twelve years of age, has spent his entire life locked in a tower and protected by his father from the “trevíes”—terrifying creatures that threaten the whole kingdom.
A strange phenomenon is unleashed, colors begin to disappear, and with them, the words that name them, giving a chance for Vermudo to escape and to experience the outside world, which has begun to disintegrate. Thus, the prince will find his true identity and the mission to which he is called. [. . .]
The tenth edition of El Barco de Vapor Award will open on February 1, 2016, according to the usual contest cycle.
In Puerto Rico, the award has been conferred previously to the novels Pepe Gorras o la historia de un perro sin cabeza, by Tina Casanova; Viaje a Isla de Mona, by Mayra Montero; La Escuelita Do-re-misteriosa, by Isabel Arraiza Arana; Dale la vuelta, by C. J. García; Las aventuras de Juan Cecilio en la ciudad perdida, by Samuel Silva Gotay; Antrópolis, by Janette Becerra; Club de Calamidades, by José Rabelo, and El dragón dormido, by Mayra Montero. [. . .]
For original, full article (in Spanish), see http://www.univision.com/entretenimiento/premios/escritor-puertorriqueno-gana-importante-premio-literario