Initiated in Havana in 1960 to draw attention to the most significant literary production in Latin America—and at a later date, the Caribbean, too—in the genres of poetry, novel, short story, essay, theatre and testimony, as well as works in other languages spoken in the region, the Casa de las Américas Literary Award has gathered outstanding figures of contemporary writing, including Miguel Ángel Asturias, Mario Vargas Llosa, Julio Cortázar, Alejo Carpentier, Allen Ginsberg, Nicolás Guillén, Nicanor Parra, Jaime Sabines, Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Eduardo Galeano, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, José Lezama Lima, Italo Calvino, Camilo José Cela, José Saramago, to name a few.
Throughout the years, many of the prize-winning works have become classics of the continent’s literature; thus, each year’s announcement creates great expectations among the public, who also have the opportunity to attend collateral activities programmed during the event. The jury travels to the city of Cienfuegos, where its members hold lectures and readings of their works.
Prizes for unpublished works in the genres of short story, theater and essay will be given out during the 55th Casa de las Américas Literary Award. A Prize for Studies on Women will also be granted this year. Authors from the English speaking Caribbean will be able to participate with works of any genre written in English or Creole and published in those languages from 2010-2013, as well as nonfiction Brazilian works written in Portuguese and published in that language from 2010-2013.
Casa de las Américas will give out three honorary prizes–the José Lezama Lima Prize for Poetry; the José María Arguedas Prize for Narrative; and the Ezequiel Martínez Estrada Prize for Essay. The prizes will be awarded to significant works written by a Latin American author, the first edition of which are in Spanish and took place in 2011 or 2012.
Winners of the 2013 Premio Casa de las Américas 2013:
Pujato by Gabriel Cortiñas (Argentina)
Essay on a Social and Historical Theme:
Cuba y los cubanoamericanos. Un análisis de la emigración cubana by Jesús Arboleya Cervera (Cuba)
La sombra del tío by Nicolás Doljanin (Argentina)
Domingos sem Deus by Luiz Ruffato (Novel)
Special Prize for Studies on Native Latin American Cultures:
La ciudad ajena: subjetividades de origen mapuche en el espacio urbano by Lucía Guerra (Chile)
José Lezama Lima Prize for Poetry:
Tiranos temblad by Rafael Courtoisie (Uruguay)
José María Arguedas Prize for Narrative:
Leche derramada by Chico Buarque (Brazil)
Ezequiel Martínez Estrada Prize for Essay:
Lectores insurgentes. La formación de la crítica literaria hispanoamericana (1810-1870) by Víctor Barrera Enderle (Mexico)