The Alfaguara Novel Prize is to celebrate its 15th edition next year, having established itself as a benchmark for quality literary awards given to an unpublished work written in Spanish. Its prestige throughout the Spanish-speaking world means that winning works enjoy international distribution, supported by the simultaneous publishing of the winners in Spain, Latin America and the U.S.
Successive Alfaguara prize winners have gone on to garner the best reviews in the international arena as well as further awards, which corroborates the literary quality of the winning entries. The award-winning novel in 2009, El viajero del siglo, by Andres Neuman, won the Literary Critics' Award a year later. Abril Rojo, by Santiago Roncagliolo (winner of the Alfaguara in 2006), this year won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, one of U.K.'s most prestigious awards and given to the best work of fiction translated into English.
A widely translated prize
The success of the Alfaguara Prize over the past 15 years has spread far beyond the borders of Spain, as evidenced by the fact that all the winning works have been translated into other languages. El ruido de las cosas al caer by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, last year's winner, has been sold to publishers Seuil in France and Ponte all Grazie in Italy. El arte de la resurrección by Hernan Rivera Letelier has been bought by more than ten international publishers including Mondadori in Italy and Signatuur in the Netherlands. El viajero del siglo, by Andres Neuman, has been one of the novels with more translations and will be published by the prestigious Farrar, Straus & Giroux house in the U.S.
One of the works with the greatest international impact was Mira si yo te querré by Luis Leante (winner in 2007). In total, the rights to this novel have been sold so far in 21 countries, including the UK, Germany, Brazil, China, Korea, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey.
Rosa Montero, jury president
The jury's prestige is well deserved and has been made up of prominent writers and leading cultural figures over the years. This year, the writer Rosa Montero will be the jury president for the fifteenth outing for the prize. The composition of the rest of the jury will not be made public until the moment the winner is announced. Since its first edition in 1998, the Alfaguara Prize has been presided over by: Carlos Fuentes, Eduardo Mendoza, Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Jorge Semprún, Luis Mateo Díez, José Saramago, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Ángeles Mastretta, Mario Vargas Llosa, Sergio Ramírez, Luis Goytisolo, Manuel Vicent and Bernardo Atxaga.
Previous awards (in Spanish)
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