BARCELONA – Writer Javier Moro has won Spain’s Planeta Prize for his novel “El imperio eres tu,” which is based on the life of Brazilian Emperor Pedro I.
The Madrid native’s work was selected from the 484 novels competing for the prestigious prize, which carries a cash award of 601,000 euros ($833,887).
About half of the works competing for the 60th Planeta Prize were from Spain and one-quarter were from Latin America.
Moro’s novel offers a detailed chronicle of the life of Pedro I, who ruled Brazil in the first half of the 19th century.
Pedro I was “Spanish, the grandson of Charles IV, our honorable and glorious past, who was always on the side of history at a time of absolute monarchies,” Moro said.
Moro, who spent 18 months doing research for the novel and a total of three years completing it, said his work told both the story of Pedro I and of the emperor’s family.
The royal family was forced to move to the Americas to flee Napoleon, marking “the first time that a European monarchy went to its colonies and with it 10 percent of Portugal’s population, transferring the kingdom’s capital from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro,” Moro said.
The writer was honored at an awards ceremony Saturday in Barcelona, home of publishing giant Grupo Planeta, that was attended by Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe.