Two Cubans among the winners of the Casa de las Américas Literary Prize

Casa de las Américas' President, Roberto Fernández Retamar

Havana, February 1 (RHC)-- Cuban authors Reinaldo Funes and Alexis Díaz won the Casa de las Américas Literary Award in the categories of historical-social essay and literature for children and youth.

Their works Nuestro viaje a la luna. La idea de la transformación de la naturaleza en Cuba durante la Guerra Fría (Our trip to the Moon. The idea of natural changes in Cuba during the Cold War) and Piel de noche (Night Skin) deserved the coveted literary award in their respective categories. The results were announced at the Havana based cultural institution’s Che Guevara Hall with the attendance of Cuban Culture Minister Alpidio Alonso and the institution’s President Roberto Fernández Retamar.

The jury, presided over by Venezuela’s Néstor Francia, said about the essay Nuestro viaje (Our trip)… that it’s ‘a contribution to the understanding of the revolutionary process, from a historical point of view and a dialogue with not so well-known and least spread areas of knowledge’. For its part, the jury headed by Argentine-Mexican Elena Dreser, said about the book of poems Piel de noche (Night Skin) by Díaz that it deals with ‘a highly sensitive human theme’ that will make readers ‘better people.’

In the category of novel La ruta (The Route), by Argentina’s Eduardo F. Varela, won the prize because, in the juror’s words, it’s ‘an extraordinary vindication of the Argentinian Patagonia’. Ecuadorean author Juan José Rodiná took the award home in poetry with Yaraví para cantar bajo los cielos del norte (biografía no autorizada de un Banksy sudamericano) (Yaraví to sing under the northern skies, a non-authorized biography of a South American Banksy).  

Deborah Dornellas was presented with the award in the category of Brazilian literature with the novel Por cima do mar (Over the Ocean), ‘a structurally daring book’ that ‘deals with themes such as racism, sexism and inequality’, while the Prize of Studies on Latinos in the US went to the work Indian Given. Racial Geographies across México and the United States, by María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo from the United States.

The honorary prizes José Lezama Lima in poetry, Ezequiel Martínez Estrada in essay and José María Arguedas in narrative, went to the Meli Witran Mapu. Tierra de los cuatro lugares (Land of four sites), by José María Memet from Chile; ¡Saoco salsero! o el swing del Sonero Mayor. Sociología urbana de la memoria del ritmo, (Urban sociology of the memories of rhythm) by Ángel G. Quintero-Rivera from Puerto Rico and El diablo de las provincias (The province’s devil), by Juan Cárdenas from Colombia.



Edited by Damian Donestevez


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