Jose Maria Merino wins Spanish National Prize for Narrative

MADRID, Oct 25 — The book “El Rio del Eden” (the River of Eden) by the author Jose Maria Merino was awarded the Spanish National Prize for Narrative by the Ministry of Education Culture and Sport on Friday.
The award is worth 20,000 euros (27,600 U.S. dollars) and was decided by a jury of personalities from the world of letters, such as Salvador Gutierrez of the Spanish Royal Academy and Fernando Valls from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.
In making the award, the jury explained the book written by the Galician author “was a work in which the author adopts a second reflexive voice in order to give us a familiar micro-cosmos which turns around a handicapped boy and the crisis that his appearance provoked in the life of the family. It is a technically risky work which is well resolved and which picks up tension as the story and its key problems develop.”
The jury praise the fact that the book also raises issues such as the right to have a dignified death and that these questions are “perfectly explained.”
Merino explained in a recent interview with the El Pais newspaper that The River of Eden was his most realistic novel where both the characters and the setting are of key importance.
“I have always been interested in the position of what we call ‘natural spaces’ and our own sentimental and moral condition,” he said.
Jose Maria Merino was born in March 1941 and is a prolific writer of poems, short stories and novels, as well as some travel writing and stories for children.
He was made a member of the Spanish Royal Academy in 2008 and has said of his work and writing that for him, “words make us what we are. If it was not for words, we would be like animals, unable to say anything. Words are our conscience and our knowledge.”[db:内容2]

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