Leonardo Padura among candidates for Nobel Prize for Literature

Padura Telam

[Many thanks to Teo Freytes for bringing this item to our attention.] ADNCUBA writes that Cuban writer Leonardo Padura is on the list of candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature, which will be awarded in December.

Cuban writer Leonardo Padura is on the list of candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature, which will be awarded in December.

“The name of Leonardo Padura appears on the lists of candidates for this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature,” wrote one of the publishing houses that manages the work of the Havana writer on Facebook. Other Latin American writers considered are Chilean Raúl Zurita, Venezuelan Rafael Cadenas and Colombians Fernando Vallejo and Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

“The ceremony is scheduled for December 10 in Stockholm; it is still not known whether the ceremony will take place face-to-face or in virtual format as the coronavirus pandemic evolves,” says the post by Aurelia Ediciones, which specializes in Cuban literature.

The Spanish newspaper El País recently announced that “the most famous literary raffle drum in the world is ready and has only five balls inside it.”  These days, some 18 Swedish academics study from home the works of the five finalists for the Nobel Prize for Literature. The race started with about 200 authors at the beginning of the year.

However, El País consulted publishers and writers; Among the forecasts, Africa is insistently mentioned as the place of origin of the winner, although with the Nobel Prize “anything can happen.”

Leonardo Padura has previously questioned the award, which he says “needs a revision.” “I would give Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize for Music. But Philip Roth died and did not get the Nobel. Kundera is going to die and he didn’t get it either. And before, to mention two indisputable examples in the Spanish language, neither Borges nor Carpentier got it,” he criticized in an interview with El País.

The winner of Cuba’s 2015 Princesa de Asturias Award, has written the best of his literary work in the subgenre of the “noir novel,” highlighting the tetralogy The Four Seasons, and his character Mario Conde. He has also published La novela de mi vida [The Novel of My Life], la renowned El hombre que amaba a los perros [The Man Who Loved Dogs], and Herejes [Heretics], among others that are greatly esteemed, especially by the public.

Padura, 65, plans to publish his new novel, Como polvo en el viento Like Dust in the Wind], in late 2020. It is a story that begins in the severe economic crisis known in Cuba as the “Special Period” in the 1990s, and traces a timeline through 2016. His emblematic character, the “disenchanted” detective Mario Conde, will return with this narration, although he draws parallels with his surroundings. The book’s main theme has a direct relationship with the Cuban diaspora and social conflicts.

Padura’s work has not been promoted as it should be by the press controlled by the Cuban government, which also does not regularly echo the novelist’s international successes. Nevertheless, in recent times, the official media has timidly approached the figure of the Cuban writer, who has kept up some criticism of the policies of the regime.

Translated by Ivette Romero. For the original article (in Spanish), see https://adncuba.com/noticias-de-cuba/cultura/cubano-leonardo-padura-entre-los-candidatos-al-premio-nobel-de-literatura

Also see (in Spanish) https://elpais.com/cultura/2020-06-01/el-nobel-de-literatura-pasa-a-la-final.html

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