Cervantes Prize awarded to Ana Maria Matute
25th November 2010
Novelist Ana Maria Matute has taken home the Spanish-speaking world's top literary award.
Matute has been named as the recipient of the EUR 125,000 (GBP 106,000) Cervantes Prize, which is open to authors whose works are written predominantly or wholly in Castilian.
The 85-year-old is only the third woman to win the prize since it was founded in 1975 to honour Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.
Spanish author Maria Zambrano won the accolade in 1988, while Cuba's Dulce Maria Loynaz was the recipient of the 1992 prize.
Speaking to reporters after being given the award by Spain's culture ministry, Matute said she is 'enormously happy' to win the prize, adding: '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.'
Matute's works have been translated into 23 languages and include Fiesta Al Noroeste, Cuentos De Infancia and Algunos Muchachos.
Last year, the Cervantes Prize went to Mexican poet Jose Emilio Pacheco. Previous winners include Nobel Prize for Literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, novelist Francisco Ayala, Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante and playwright Antonio Buero Vallejo.