IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
January 15th, 2013

Leonardo padura. Credit: IPS Cuba.

Leonardo Padura, one of the most widely read and admired Cuban writers on and off the island, has won the National Literature Award 2012.

“His work transcends all ages. Old, young and adult people look out for his novels. He knows very well, with his flawless writing, how to communicate the experience of our generation which passed tranquil but also very difficult moments in Cuba’s recent history” said 51-year-old Cuban doctor Lourdes Suardiaz to IPS.

In an interview with the collective blog ‘La Joven Cuba’, the 57 year-old author of “El hombre que amaba los perros” (The Man Who Loved Dogs, 2009), stressed that his generation was marked by its participation in the Angolan war –the last Cuban troops left the country in 1991- as well as by the economic crisis from the 1990’s up to now, among other events.

The prize is awarded by the Cuban Book Institute (ICL) of the Ministry of Culture. The jury agreed to recognize Padura because he is “one of the most read and admired Cuban writers on and off the island” and “author of an acclaimed detective series that gained wide popularity”.

The jury highlighted that the storyteller “followed in the best detective fiction tradition to delve into social concerns, creating Mario Conde, the character who will outlive him.”

In this genre, the IPS Columnist and author of “La Esquina de Padura” created the character Mario Conde in the series “Cuatro Estaciones” (The Four seasons). Additionally, the author also wrote historical fiction including “La novela de mi vida” (The Novel of My Life, 2002) and “The Man Who Loved Dogs”, his most renowned national and international work.

The jury reviewed 18 proposals submitted by literary institutions from across the country and agreed on the distinguished journalist, screenwriter and author. Moreover, the ICL has announced that the prize ceremony is scheduled for Sunday 17 February at 16:00, in room “Nicolás Guillén de La Cabaña” in the framework of the 22nd International Book Fair of Havana.

In Cuba, the author has been awarded many prizes including the UNEAC Prize (1993), the Cultural National Journalism José A. Fernández Castro (2005) and Literary Criticism (2011). Other countries granted him the Café Gijón (1995), Dashiell Hammett (1998), International Detective Novel (1998), Roger Caillois (2011) and the Prize Carbet from the Caribbean and Tout-Monde this year (2012)



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