[Many thanks to María Cristina Rodríguez for bringing this item to our attention.] Warmest congratulations to our dear Ana Lydia Vega, whose stories and essays have sparked so many discussions among our students (and colleagues, of course) through the years! El Nuevo Día announced that Puerto Rican writer and academic Ana Lydia Vega was recently awarded the prestigious Ernest M. Hemingway Literature in Spanish Award, bestowed by Movimiento Literario e Histórico Internacional Ernest M. Hemingway (MLHIEH) [Ernest M. Hemingway International Literary and Historical Movement] an organization founded in Miami 2018 by academic and writer Alfredo A. Ballester.
[. . .] According to a press release, July 21 commemorated the 123rd anniversary of the birth of the famous U.S. writer and the fifth anniversary of the proclamation of this date as Ernest M. Hemingway Day.
The information indicates that five intellectuals were nominated for this award from a selection of twenty-two curricula received: Urbano Martínez Carmenate, from Cuba; Ana Lydia Vega, from Puerto Rico; Juan Guerrero, from Venezuela; Linda Morales Caballero, from Peru; and Virgilio López Lemus, Cuba. Previously, it was awarded to Félix Luis Viera (2019) and Senel Paz (2020).
“Vega belongs to a generation of Puerto Rican writers who have integrated reflections about the ambiguous state of their nation into their writing. She has an academic career as a professor of literature,” indicates the also president of MLHIEH. In the statement, Ballester refers to the studies of the Puerto Rican writer, born in 1946 in Santurce, who did her bachelor’s degree at the School of Humanities of the University of Puerto Rico and, later, in France, where she obtained her bachelor’s degrees, master’s degree and doctorate in Modern Languages and Literature (Université Paul Valéry, 1969, Université de Provence, 1971 and 1978, respectively).
“Her doctoral dissertation is entitled: The Myth of King Christophe of Haiti in Caribbean and U.S. Theater [El mito del rey Christophe de Haití en el teatro antillano y estadounidense (Université de Provence, 1978, microfilmed by the University of Laval, Quebec)]. From 1970 to 2001, she worked as a professor of French and Francophone Caribbean literature in the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Puerto Rico,” Ballester explains in the statement, where she also highlights the books published by the writer. Among them “Vírgenes y mártires” (1981), “Encancaranublado y otros cuentos de naufragio” (1982), “Pasión de historia y otras historias de pasión” (1987), “Falsas crónicas del sur” (1991), and “Celita y el mangle zapatero” (1998).
Ballester also highlights that Vega has extensively cultivated opinion journalism as a columnist for the weekly Claridad (1985), the periodical Diálogo (1989) and the daily newspaper El Nuevo Día (1996 to the present).
Ballester also references the fact that part of Vega’s essay work has been gathered in en “El tramo ancla” (1988), “Esperando a Loló y otros delirios generacionales” (1994), “Mirada de doble filo” (2008) and “País nuestro: crónicas puertorriqueñas de actualidad” (2012). Vega is also coauthor of textbooks for teaching French to speakers of Spanish (“Le Français vécu” and “Le Nouveau français vécu,” 1981 and 2001), of a pedagogical text on the history of slavery (“El machete de Ogún”, 1989) and the screenplay for the Puerto Rican film “La gran fiesta” (1986). In addition, the National Autonomous University of Mexico launched in 1994 an anthology of her selected stories entitled “Cuentos calientes.”
“Vega’s stories have earned her distinctions such as the Casa de las Americas Award for Literature (Havana, l982), the Juan Rulfo International Award for Short Story (Paris, l984), the Pushcart Prize for Short Fiction (New York, 1986), and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation (1989).
Her literary trajectory has been honored with the title of ‘Distinguished Writer’ by the PEN Club of Puerto Rico (2009) as well as her election as an Honorary Academician by the Academia Puertorriqueña de la Lengua Española [Puerto Rican Academy of the Spanish Language] (2013). In 2014, the Caribbean Philosophical Association awarded her the ‘Nicolas Guillen Lifetime Achievement Award for Philosophical Literature.’ In 2015, the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo awarded her an honorary doctorate,” notes Ballester.
Translated by Ivette Romero. For original source in Spanish (with video), see https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/notas/ana-lydia-vega-recibe-prestigioso-premio-en-miami/#
[Photo above by Wanda Liz Vega.]