The jury of the National Prize for Spanish Letters has awarded in the corresponding edition of 2021 the academic José María Merino Sánchez.
The jury has recognized Merino “for his mastery and excellence in the creation of fantastic literature in the narrative modalities of novel, short novel, short story and short story, and also by the intelligence of his theoretical reflections on the fiction “.
“José María Merino is everything a benchmark for successive generations“He added. The award, awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, is endowed with 40,000 euros.
It distinguishes the set of literary work, in any of the Spanish languages, of a Spanish author or Spanish author, whose work is considered as an integral part of the set of current Spanish literature.
Merino was born in A Coruña in 1941Although he is identified with León, since he lived there for a long period of his life, until he moved to Madrid. He collaborated with UNESCO in educational projects for Latin America and was director of the Center for Spanish Letters of the Ministry of Culture.
He is a patron of the Alexander Pushkin Foundation and honorary patron of the Spanish Language Foundation, ambassador of Hans Christian Andersen (Ministry of Culture of Denmark) and was honorary president of the ‘Leer León’ Children’s and Youth Book Foundation.
Corresponding academic of the Panamanian Academy of the Language and the North American Academy of the Spanish Language. In 2014 he was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of León. In 2015 he received the Medal of Honor from the Association of Spanish Graduates and Doctors in the United States (ALDEEU).
He is a member of the Royal Academy of the Language since 2008. It begins in literature in the group Claraboya, a group that publishes the magazine with the same name in León.
Stories, Poetry and Literature for Young People
His first published books were poems ‘Sitio de Tarifa’ (1972) and ‘Birthdays away from home’ (1973). A few years later, in 1976, he became known with ‘Novela de Andrés Choz’, for which he won the Novelas y Cuentos Award.
Since then comes alternating the publication of novels with that of short stories, poetry and literature for young peoples and deserving awards such as the Critics’ Award in 1985 for his novel ‘The Dark Shore’; the National Children’s and Young People’s Literature in 1993 for ‘I’m not a book’; the Miguel Delibes Narrative Prize for ‘Las visiones de Lucrecia’ (1996); Ramón Gómez de la Serna de Narrativa in 2004 for ‘El hedero’; the Torrente Ballester Prize for ‘El lugar sin culpa’ or the Critics’ Prize of Castilla y León for ‘El río del Edén’ (2012), which also won the National Narrative Prize.
In his role as a columnist, he created, together with Juan Pedro Aparicio and Luis Mateo Díez, the figure of Sabino Ordás, a pseudonym under which he wrote a multitude of articles in the literary supplement ‘Pueblo’, directed by Dámaso Santos.
In addition to his work as a writer, he has lectured at numerous European and American educational centers, universities, and libraries. He has also given workshops on literary creation at the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP).