CARACAS – Colombian author Pablo Montoya has won Venezuela’s Romulo Gallegos international novel prize for a work about religious violence in 16th-century Europe, the jury said on Thursday.
The 52-year-old Montoya beat out six other finalists in the 19th edition of the award, all of them Latin American authors, the jury announced at the headquarters of the Caracas-based Romulo Gallegos Center for Latin American Studies.
The novel, titled “Triptico de la Infamia,” tells the story of three Protestant painters who witnessed and depicted the horrors that were committed in Europe during the 16th century in the name of religion and the pursuit of wealth and later extended to the recently discovered Americas.
“This novel explores that unique and terrible period and does so with great sensibility,” Puerto Rico’s Eduardo Lalo, winner of the previous prize and a member of this year’s jury, said after the decision was announced.
The award, which consists of a gold medal and a $100,000 cash prize, will be given out at a ceremony on Aug. 2.
The prize was created in 1964 by then-President Raul Leoni to honor the work of Gallegos (1884-1969), author of the classic regionalist novel “Dońa Barbara” and also a former Venezuelan head of state.
Past winners of this prestigious literary honor include Nobel Prize in literature recipients Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.