MADRID – Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo has been awarded the 2014 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s highest literary accolade, Spain’s Minister of Education, Culture and Sports Jose Ignacio Wert announced on Monday.
The minister said that he had phoned Goytisolo at his home in Marrakech, Morocco, to inform him that he had won.
A committee chaired by the 2012 Cervantes Prize winner, Jose Manuel Caballero Bonald, decided to grant Goyisolo the award that comes with a cash purse of $155,000.
The head of the award committee described Goytisolo as a passionate writer who is concerned with dialogue among different cultures of the Mediterranean. He is a truly comprehensive intellectual, he stressed.
The committee praised the work of Goytisolo for bringing the two shores of the Mediterranean closer together, drawing on the Spanish heterodox tradition to highlight the author’s ongoing commitment to intercultural dialogue.
Goytisolo, who was born in Barcelona in 1931, has lived outside Spain since he was very young. He moved to Paris in 1956, and afterwards to Boston and New York in the United States, where he taught classes in Spanish literature.
The Cervantes Prize was endowed in 1975 by the Spanish Culture Ministry and is named after Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), the author of “Don Quixote.”