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Casa de las Americas Award

By Michel Hernández

Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Cuba led the vanguard of good Latin American literature by winning the Casa 2007 Prizes, convened from January 15 to its closure yesterday in the Che Guevara Hall of this Cuban institution.

During the ceremony, attended by Culture Minister Abel Prieto, and Ricardo Alarcón, president of the National Assembly of People's Power, both members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party; José Ramón Fernández, vice president of the Council of Ministers; and Roberto Fernández Retamar, president of Casa de las Américas; and many intellectuals the writers distinguished in this 48th edition of the competition.

From a total of 493 works presented the novel prize went to Mil y una (One Thousand and One), by Susana Silvestre (Buenos Aires, 1950), narrator and journalist, "for her fluent, limpid, elegant prose; her intelligent, complex and playful structure; and for constituting a challenge to trends displayed these days by editorial consortiums," as the jury commented.

The prize for essay on a literary-artistic theme, was awarded to Cuban art critic and narrator Alberto Abreu (Cárdenas, 1961), for Los juegos de la escritura o la (re)escritura de la Historia (Plays on Writing or the Rewriting of History); while Heptalogía de Hieronymus Bosch: 6, La Paranoia (Heptalogy of Hieronymus Bosch: 6, Paranoia), by Rafael Spregelburd (Buenos Aires, 1970), dramatist, actor, director and theatrical translator, took the first prize in theater "for the creation of a dramatic, original and poetic universe, a cross between comedy, metafiction and philosophy."

In the testimonial literature category, Oblivion, by Edda Fabbri (Montevideo, 1949), was awarded the prize out of consideration for the great testimonial and literary value of the report on a political prisoner incarcerated during the dictatorship in Uruguay. While in Brazilian literature Um defelto de cor, by Ana María Gonçalves (Minas Gerais, 1970) a publicist and writer, triumphed with "a notable novel outstanding in its aesthetic-literary structure and development.

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