November 24, 2010 –Spain’s Culture Ministry named author Ana Maria Matute the winner of its Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's top literary honor. The Cervantes is likened to a Nobel for literature in Spanish.
“I take it as a recognition, if not of the quality of my work, then at least of the effort and dedication that I have devoted to writing throughout my life,” said Ms. Matute.
Matute is ranked as one of the country's top post-Spanish Civil War writers, with her work often centering on many aspects of the 1936-39 conflict. Her best known works include SCHOOL OF THE SUN and SOLDIERS CRY BY NIGHT.
Ms. Matute is 85 and was born in Barcelona. She is only the third woman to win the 35-year-old award after Spain's Maria Zambrano in 1988 and Cuba's Dulce Maria Loynaz.
King Juan Carlos will present Ms. Matute with the award, which comes with a US$167,000 prize, on April 23, 2011, the anniversary of the death of Cervantes, in Alcala de Henares, Cervantes’ birthplace. Last year's winner was Mexican writer Jose Emilio Pacheco.♦