MADRID – Argentina’s Andres Neuman on Monday was awarded Spain’s Alfaguara Novel Prize – considered among the most prestigious of its kind in the Spanish language – for “El viajero del siglo” (The Traveler of the Century).
Neuman, a novelist, poet and short story writer who was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires but has lived in the southern Spanish city of Granada since his youth, received a cash award of $175,000.
Considered among the most promising Spanish-language authors in recent years, Neuman published his first novel, “Bariloche,” at the age of 22 and has followed that up with more works in that genre, as well as short stories and poetry collections.
“El viajero del siglo” is a vast, complex and ambitious literary work whose pages contain “a certain tremor of unreality,” jury member Carlos Franz, a Chilean, said after the announcement was made.
“It’s a post-modern novel in which there’s an effort to write a modern-day classic novel,” Franz said.
According to the jury member, the novel is an ambitious experiment that looks back at the 19th century from the perspective of the 21st and is written by “someone familiar with literary tradition.”
By comparing the past and the present, the author analyzes current issues such as emigration, multi-culturalism, linguistic differences and women’s liberation.
Other works by Neuman include the novels “La vida en las ventanas” (Life in the Windows) and “Una vez Argentina” (Once Argentina); and three short story collections, “El que espera” (The One Who Waits), “El ultimo minuto” (The Last Minute) and “Alumbramiento” (Creation).
The members of the jury, which considered a total of 523 manuscripts from Spain and Latin America in the 12th edition of the prize, also included its President Luis Goytisolo, Julio Ortega, Ana Clavel, Ignacio Polanco, Gonzalo Suarez and Juan Gonzalez. EFE