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Cristina Peri Rossi wins the Cervantes Award 2021

Cristina Peri Rossi wins the Cervantes Award 2021

There was speculation that this year’s Cervantes Prize would go to a Latin American author such as Luisa Valenzuela, and so it has been, although it was awarded to the Uruguayan poet and storyteller Cristina Peri Rossi.

Cristina Peri Rossi has won the Cervantes Prize 2021, the most important award in Spanish-language literature, granted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, as announced by Minister Miquel Iceta. The jury has highlighted «her career as one of the great literary vocations of today in a wide variety of genres and her ongoing commitment to contemporary issues such as the status of women and sexuality.»

After 30 years of life in her city, Montevideo, the military dictatorship forced Cristina Peri Rossi, like so many of her fellow activists and social activists, to go into exile in Barcelona.

«Through the door, the doctor left and the Cervantes came in,» the Uruguayan author recounts by telephone from her bed. About to turn 80, the poet is happy for the award, although her state of health prevents her from going out to celebrate with the media and other institutions of the Cervantes prize.

The award

The Miguel de Cervantes Prize for Literature in the Spanish Language, also known as the Cervantes Prize or Miguel de Cervantes Prize is a Spanish-language literature prize awarded annually by the Ministry of Culture and Sport at the proposal of the Association of Spanish Language Academies. The 2021 Cervantes Prize has an endowment of 125,000 euros.

Peri Rossi becomes the sixth woman to be honored with the Cervantes Award

The author is proud of an award that she considers to have earned it: «I have no connections and I do not belong to any clique. In that, I am a solitary navigator and a sniper. She also has a memory for her small South American country, which in 2018 also had in the nonagenarian Ida Vitale another Cervantes prize. «I am happy for both Uruguay and Spain, because I carry both countries in my heart and, with the exception of seasons in Paris and Berlin, I have only lived in them.»

The award recognizes «the trajectory of one of the great literary vocations of our time and the scope of a writer capable of expressing her talent in a plurality of genres». According to the jury, «Cristina Peri Rossi’s literature is a constant exercise in exploration and criticism, without shying away from the value of the word as an expression of a commitment to key issues of contemporary conversation such as the condition of women and sexuality». Finally, the ruling emphasizes that his work, «a bridge between Ibero-America and Spain, must remain as a perpetual reminder of exile and the political tragedies of the 20th century».

Diario ABC collects five unforgettable poems by the Uruguayan author that invite us to know and admire her work.

The five winners of the previous editions were:

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