GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Mexican writer Cristina Rivera Garza received the Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Prize for her suspense novel “La muerte me da” (Death Hits) during a ceremony at the Guadalajara International Book Fair.
The writer, a native of the northeastern city of Matamoros, said Wednesday on receiving the prize, which carries a cash award of $10,000, that “one writes to discover ... to try to discover in any case what’s being written.”
She added that “writing emerges of its own accord and always from (a standpoint) of complete exposure” because it would not be worth writing anything otherwise.
Nubia Macias, director of the book fair, which features the city of Los Angeles as special guest in this 22nd edition, said Rivera Garza’s literary voice has changed in the eight years since she won this same prize for the first time.
“I’d like to live in a world in which the fair didn’t have to dedicate a prize to literature written by women, that the voice of our gender was as well disseminated and well known as that of men, but the world is how it is and it’s up to us to open that door,” she said.
The jury said in a statement that “the novel is a thriller, but not just any thriller,” adding that Rivera Garza reinvents that genre and the traditional ways of narrating these types of stories.
“Her command of literary language is only comparable to her audacious narrative and her attraction to risk and the rupture of established models.”
Other works by Rivera Garza include “Nadie me vera llover,” for which she won the Sor Juana prize in 2001; “Ningun reloj cuenta esto”; “La cresta de Ilion”; “Lo anterior” and “La frontera mas distante.”
Her work has been translated into English, Portuguese, German, Italian and Korean and she currently works as a professor at the University of California, San Diego.
Other previous winners of this award include Tatiana Lobo, Elena Garro, Laura Restrepo, Sylvia Iparraguirre, Cristina Sanchez-Andrade and Tununa Mercado.
The 23rd Guadalajara International Book Fair brings together close to 500 writers and representatives of almost 2,000 publishing houses from Nov. 28 to Dec. 6. EFE