MADRID -- Writer Juan Goytisolo won on Monday the National Prize for Spanish Literature, one of Spain's most prestigious awards.
With a cash prize of 40,000 euros ($51,000), the prize honors the literary career of a Spanish author.
Considered by Carlos Fuentes as one of the best contemporary novelists in the Spanish language, Goytisolo had just arrived in Mexico when he was given news of the award.
A perennial candidate for the Cervantes Prize, he has won such prestigious honors as the 1995 Rachid Mimumi Prize of Paris for Tolerance and Freedom, the 2002 Octavio Paz Prize for Literature, and the 2004 Juan Rulfo Prize for Latin American Literature.
A long-time resident of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh and a great student of Arabic culture, Goytisolo was born on Jan. 6, 1931 in Barcelona and is the brother of poet Jose Agustin, who died in 1999, and of the writer and academic Luis Goytisolo.
After the publication of his first two novels, "Juegos de Mano" (Sleight of Hand) in 1954 and "Duelo en el Paraiso" (Duel in Paradise) in 1955, he lived in exile in Paris from 1956 to 1969 as a literary advisor to the prestigious publisher Gallimard.
The prolific author of novels, essays, memoirs and travel books, his works feature such titles as "Señas de Identidad" (Marks of Identity), "Reivindicacion del Conde don Julian" (Count Julian), "Juan sin Tierra" (Juan the Landless), "Makbara" (Masks), "Paisajes para Después de la Batalla" (Landscapes after the Battle), "Cronicas Sarracinas" (Saracen Chronicles), "Las Virtudes del Pajaro Solitario" (Virtues of the Lonely Bird), "Carajicomedia" (Juvenile Comedy) and "Telon de Boca" (Theater Curtain). EFE