… Juan Goytisolo, which you all know already, for his book The Virtues of the Solitary Bird, as reviewed here. I was much impressed by Goytisolo, and immediately went out and bought more books by him. He’s not a writer though, I’ve learned, whose books you can stop in the middle of – which is awkward for me, since this is how I tend to read all books. – Also, I was convinced this was the first Goytisolo book I’d read; but realised a few weeks later that I’d read another book by him, The Blind Rider, about six years ago, which was similar I think in style but not as engaging or, clearly, memorable.
There was no runner-up. Indeed, under the terms of the prize, there were only two other books which were eligible; and considering the poverty of modern literature in general, I’m beginning to wonder how long I can keep up naming a winner each year. Still, I’ve got a few living writers in the TBR pile.
Obooki Prize winners so far:
2013 – Juan Goytisolo (Spain)
2012 – Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia)
2011 – Antonine Maillet (Canada)
2010 – László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
2009 – Ermanno Cavazzoni (Italy)
2008 – Bernardo Atxaga (Spain / Euskadi)
Not a bad list so far. As you can see, this is the second Spanish winner; and the third Spanish-language winner (thus demonstating the current worldwide dominance of Spanish literature).