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Pepetela wins literary prize Correntes d’Escritas 2020

The Angolan writer Pepetela won this Wednesday the Literary Prize Casino da Póvoa 2020, with the book "His Excellency of Present Body", attributed in the scope of the literary meeting Correntes d'Escritas, in Póvoa de Varzim, in Portugal, announced the organization.


The competition jury decided to distinguish the work of the author, 78 years old, born in Benguela, "for the originality of the narrative stratagem", giving him the prize of 20 thousand euros.

The book was chosen from 15 finalists out of a total of 120 works nominated for this literary award.

Pepetela thus succeeds the Portuguese author Luís Quintais, who in 2019 won, in the poetry category, the maximum award of Correntes d'Escritas, a meeting of Iberian-speaking writers that officially takes place this Wednesday in Póvoa de Varzim.

The writer will not be present at the event, as he is recovering, in Luanda, from a health problem that prevents him from traveling, but he did send a message of thanks to the organization. "He was very happy to be awarded the prize, I thank the organization and the jury for this honor and for the encouragement to persist in writing", transmitted Pepetela.

The Angolan author and professor was born in Benguela in 1941 and attended higher education in Lisbon, but ended up graduating in Sociology, in Algiers, Algeria, during exile. He started his literary and political activity at the Casa dos Students do Império. Since 1984, he has been a professor at the Agostinho Neto University, in Luanda, and has been the director of cultural associations, especially the União de Angolanos Writers and Associação Cultural Recreativa Chá de Caxinde.

In 1997, he confirmed his place of prominence in Lusophone literature by winning the Camões Prize, being then the first Angolan author and second African author to be chosen for the award.

For this 21st edition of Correntes d'Escritas, the organization invited 107 authors of Iberian expression, from 14 nationalities, with 30 writers participating for the first time in the event, which will take place, with multiple activities, until 23 February.

From the Portuguese-speaking world, authors such as Germano Almeida and Mário Lúcio, from Cape Verde, Abdulai Silá and Conduto de Pina, from Guinea-Bissau, Hirondina Joshua, from Mozambique, and Manuel Rui and David Capelenguela, from Angola, are announced.

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