The famous Chilean writer Antonio Skarmeta won on Friday Chile’s National Literature Prize. Skarmeta was the favorite for the prize. The field included other great Chilean authors as Pedro Lemebel, German Marin, Jorge Guzman, and Poli Delano.
The announcement was made by Chile’s Education Minister, Nicolas Eyzaguirre, after the jury’s discussion to decide the winner.
Along with Isabel Allende, Antonio Skarmeta, 73, is one of the most popular Chilean writers alive. He is the author of more than 20 books. His most famous novel is “Ardiente paciencia” (Burning patience), that was turned into the movie “Il Postino” in 1994.
In “Ardiente paciencia” Skarmeta writes of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda helping an Italian mailman to discover his passion for poetry and to conquer the woman he loves.
The novel was adapted to an opera in 2010, with tenor Placido Domingo as main character.
Skarmeta writes mainly novels and short stories, but he has also written movie scripts, and hosted a TV show, “The books show.”
On 2012 the movie “No”, was released based on a unpublished theater play by Skarmeta. “No” is the story of the plebiscite that ended the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet on 1988.
Currently, some of Skarmeta’s most important books are being reprinted, such as “Desnudo en el Tejado” (Naked on the roof), “No pasó nada” (Nothing happened), or “La velocidad del amor” (The speed of love).
Chile’s National Literature Prize was created in 1942 to reward the work of outstanding Chilean writers. The prize is awarded every two years. Some of the most famous winners are Isabel Allende, Nicanor Parra, Jorge Edwards, and the Nobel Prize winners Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral.