March 6, 2021

‘Los abismos’ by Pilar Quintana wins the 2021 Alfaguara Novel Prize


The abysses by Pilar Quintana, presented under the pseudonym Claudia de Colombia. An award-winning novel that “delves into the darkness of the adult world through the gaze of a girl”, has defended Héctor Abad Faciolince, president of the jury.

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Pilar Quintana has published three novels: Tickling the tongue (Planet, 2003), Rare Dust Collectors (Norma, 2007) and Iguana conspiracy (Norma, 2009), and the collection of short stories Little red riding hood eats the wolf (Cuneta, 2012). In 2007, she was selected by the Hay Festival among the 39 most prominent Latin American writers under 39 years of age. In 2010 he received the VIII La Mar de Letras Novel Prize for Rare Dust Collectors. In 2011 she participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa as a resident writer and in 2012 in the International Writers Workshop at Hong Kong Baptist University as a visiting writer.

His stories have been translated into several languages ​​and have appeared in magazines and anthologies in Latin America, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United States and China. In 2018 he won the Colombian Narrative Award for his novel The dog, which will soon be translated into nine languages ​​and for which the audiovisual rights have been sold.

More than 2,400 manuscripts from Spain and Latin America have been submitted to this call for the Alfaguara Novel Prize, endowed with 144,500 euros (175,000 dollars).

This is one of the most important literary awards given to an unpublished work written in Spanish to which, for the first time, participants have been able to send their originals both in physical and digital format, which, according to the Alfaguara publishing house, has supposed “an absolute participation record”.

Of the 2,428 manuscripts that have been submitted to the XXIV edition, 1,293 have been submitted from Spain, 419 from Argentina, 259 from Mexico, 187 from Colombia, 74 from the United States, 73 from Chile, 88 from Peru, and 35 from Uruguay.

This year, the writer Héctor Abad Faciolince has chaired a jury made up of fellow writers Irene Vallejo and Ana Merino, the journalist and writer Xavi Ayén, the international director of the Hay Festival, Cristina Fuentes La Roche, the journalist and bookseller from Nollegiu, in Barcelona, ​​Xavier Vidal, and the editorial director of Alfaguara, Pilar Reyes (with voice but without vote).

Last year the Alfaguara Novel Prize went to Save the fireby Guillermo Arriaga.

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