BARCELONA – Spaniard Eduardo Mendoza received the Planeta Novel Prize here Friday for his book “Riña de gatos” (Catfight).
The award, accompanied by 601,000 euros ($895,000), was presented at a gala in Barcelona, home of publishing giant Grupo Planeta.
Mendoza’s book, one of 509 submitted for the 59th edition of the Planeta Prize, is set in Madrid a few months before the outbreak of the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War and begins with the arrival of an English art expert brought in to appraise what appears to be an unknown painting by Velazquez.
The 67-year-old Barcelona native described “Riña de Gatos” as a “mystery, but also a reflection on a historic moment.”
Mendoza published his first novel in 1975, “La verdad sobre el caso Savolta” (The Truth about the Savolta Case), and is also the author of the internationally acclaimed “La ciudad de los prodigios (The City of Marvels), which was the basis for a 1999 film by Mario Camus.
Second-place honors in this year’s Planeta competition went to Spanish journalist and writer Carmen Amoraga for “El tiempo mientras tanto.” EFE