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  • Marlon Mendez, an admirer of Fidel Castro, reads a book in his bedroom in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba.

    Marlon Mendez, an admirer of Fidel Castro, reads a book in his bedroom in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 February 2018

The winners were from Cuba, Argentina, Barbados and Brazil.

The best writers in the Americas were awarded this week in Havana, Cuba, during the ceremonies for the 59th edition of the Casa de las Americas Literary Prize.

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The ceremony took place in the Che Guevara Hall of Havana’s Casa de las Americas, with the winners from the countries of Cuba, Argentina, Barbados and Brazil.

In the area of Essays, Argentina’s Ana Forcinito won, for her book, “Oyeme con los ojos: Cine, mujeres, visiones y voces” (“Listen to me with your eyes: Cinema, women, visions and voices”).

The prize for Brazilian Literature went to Carlos Cortez Minchillo, for his work, “Erico Veríssimo, escritor do mundo” (“Erico Veríssimo, world writer”).

For Theater, Argentina’s Fernando José Crespi nabbed the prize, for his work, “Paraje Luna” (“Moon Spot”), with Peruvian judge Teresa Zuñiga, saying that was “a piece of accomplished drama, in which the quality and suggestion of its plot have been valued.”

The Caribbean Literature in English or Creole prize went to Anthony Kellman of Barbados, for “Tracing Jaja”, described by judges as “an extraordinary novel about the human experience.”

The Women’s Studies Prize went to Cuba’s Yanetsy Pino Reina for “Hilando y deshilando la resistencia: pactos no catastroficos entre identidad femenina y poesia” (“Spinning and unraveling resistance: non-catastrophic pacts between female identity and poetry”).

Pino Reina dedicated the Prize to Cuba, saying, “my country that makes dreams possible, especially those of women, and to all the women of the world, that after a long struggle finally, at least in Cuba, we can have some peace and personal fulfillment.”

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Cuba also won in the Short Story genre, with Rafael de Aguila’s book, “Todas las patas en el aire” (“All legs in the air”), taking home the prize.

Other prizes included the Jose Lezama Lima Poetry Prize, which went to “El zorro y la luna, poemas reunidos, 1981-2016” (The fox and the moon, collected poems, 1981-2016) by Peru’s Jose Antonio Mazzotti; the Jose Maria Arguedas Narrative Prize which went to Uruguay’s Milton Fornaro for “La madriguera”; (“The burrow”); and the Ezequiel Martinez Estrada Essay Prize, awarded to Argentine Saul Sosnowski for his book “Cartografía de las letras hispanoamericanas: tejidos de la memoria” (“Cartography of Latin American letters: tissues of memory”).


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