Luis Landero won the National Prize for Spanish Letters 2022. The jury highlighted the author as “an extraordinary storyteller, the creator of many works of fiction with highly expressive characters and atmospheres”. The committee defines his writing as “remarkable” because it restores “the Cervantine tradition with a mastery of humor and irony; and brilliantly combines the role of imagination.”
In addition, they note that the writer “belongs to the first generation of Spanish democracy and played a fundamental role in the renewal of our literature.” The group evaluates his first novel, late age games (1989), “was a literary milestone and, to some extent, a historical one”. In fact, it won a National Narrative Award and a Critics’ Choice Award.
Since then, they believe, “he has maintained with the same zeal the pulse and originality that already appeared in his beginnings and which caused him to retain in the reader a tremendous capacity for surprise.” The award given by the Ministry of Culture and Sports is worth 40,000 euros.
The award-winning writer was born in 1948 in Alburquerque (Cáceres). In 1960, he moved to Madrid with his family. At the age of fourteen, he began working in various trades as an apprentice in a machine shop, a delivery boy in a grocery store, and an administrative assistant in a dairy. After his father’s death in 1964, he devoted himself professionally to the flamenco guitar, accompanying various singers for several years.
In addition, he studied Spanish philology at the Complutense University of Madrid and worked there as an assistant professor of French philology. He was also a professor of Spanish language and literature at the Calderón de la Barca Institute in Madrid, the School of Dramatic Arts in the same city, and Yale University.
Landero published 16 books, including 11 novels, which decisively marked the last decades of national literature, taking a prominent and personal place in the “New Spanish Narrative” born in the 80s and 90s. Knights of Destiny (1994, Tusquets), Apprentice of Magic (1999, Tusquets), guitarist (2002, Tusquets), Portrait of an immature man (2009, Tusquets), Absolution (2012, Tusquets), Living by agreement (2017, Tusquets), good rain (2019, Tusquets), Emerson’s garden (2021, Tusquets) and funny story (2022, Tusquets).
The jury was chaired by María José Gálvez Salvador, Director General of Book and Reading Promotion; And Jesús Gonzalez Gonzalez, Deputy Director of the General Sub-Directorate for the Promotion of Spanish Books, Reading and Letters, served as Vice President.
The group of members consisted of Ines Fernández-Ordónez Hernández, appointed by the Royal Academy of Spain; Rosario Alvarez Blanco, for the Royal Academy of Galicia/Royal Academy of Galicia; M.ª Sagrario Aleman Astiz, by Royal Academy of Basque Language/Euskaltzaindia; María Ángela Vilallonga Vives, for the Institute of Catalan Studies/Institut d’Estudis Catalans; Rosa María Agost Canos, for the Valencia Language Academy/Valencia Language Academy; Montserrat Iglesias Santos, for the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE); Manuel Rico Rego, Spanish Association of Collegiate Writers (ACE); Francisco José Díaz de Castro, by the Spanish Literary Association; Carmen Rodríguez Sigüenza, Federation of Spanish Associations of Journalists (FAPE); Juan Manuel Goig Martínez, for the UNED Center for Gender Studies; Marta Sánchez-Nívez Fernández, for the Ministry of Culture and Sports and José María Merino Sánchez, award-winning author on the 2021 call.
Source: El Diario