Spanish author Luis Mateo Díez wins Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s top literary honor

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MADRID (AP) — Spanish author Luis Mateo Díez has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s highest literary honor, Culture Minister Miquel Iceta said Tuesday.

The prizes are presented each April 23 on the anniversary of the death in 1616 of Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote,” in a ceremony attended by King Felipe VI.

Iceta praised Díez, 81, “for being one of the great narrators of the Spanish language, heir to the Cervantes spirit.”

He described him as a “writer in the face of all adversity, a creator of imaginary worlds and territories with a prose, a sagacity and a style that make (his work) unique in literature of the highest level.”

The award includes prize money of 125,000 euros ($134,000).

A member of the Royal Spanish Academy, Díez has previously won Spain's National Narrative Prize twice. A prolific writer, he is known for his unreal and dreamlike stories based in the fictional region of Celama.

Venezuelan poet Rafael Cadenas won the Cervantes Prize in 2022.