MADRID – The King of Spain awarded the 2016 Miguel de Cervantes Prize of literary achievement to Barcelona-born novelist Eduardo Mendoza during a ceremony in Madrid on Wednesday.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain presided over the annual awards in the assembly hall at the Alcala de Hernares University in the Spanish capital.
In his speech, the Spanish monarch described Mendoza as a master in the art of language and a “true biographer” of Barcelona where, just like in his literary work, Felipe said, the co-existence of Spanish and Catalan is “something natural.”
The king said Mendoza’s first novel, “La verdad sobre el caso Savolta” (The Truth about the Savotla Case), burst onto the scene 40-years ago and changed Spain’s literary landscape.
Since then, said the monarch, readers and critics have awaited Mendoza’s new releases with great anticipation.
The Cervantes Prize for literary recognizes the lifetime work of authors working in the Spanish language.
Former winners include Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1979) and Peruvian novelist, dramatists and essayist, Mario Vargas Llosa (1994).
Established in 1975 and considered the “Nobel Prize” of Spanish literature, the Cervantes comes with a monetary award of 125,000 euros ($133,000).