The Colombian novelist Fernando Vallejo, who wrote “La Virgen de los Sicarios” (The Lady of the Assassins), will receive the Romantic Language prize at the Guadalajara Book Fair (FIL).
The FIL is the largest Spanish-language book fair in the world.
According to a Monday press release, the FIL jury, composed of seven writers, academics and critics, awarded Vallejo the 2011 FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages for being a writer who “expresses his emotions through the voice of an artist who embodies the reality of a strange world and imagination.”
The foreman of the FIL jury described the Medellin-born novelist as one of the most “personal and controversial” voices in Spanish literature.
“His writing revolves around a single theme, Colombia, but is actually a motley tour and compromised by the conflicts of the human being, from denunciation to disappointment, going through a difficult tenderness that is sometimes also understood as aggression or disapproval,” the foreman said, according to the Colombian culture site Vive.in.
Vallejo’s iconic “La Virgin de los Sicarios,” a violent and devastating account of drug gang warfare in Medellin, was adapted into a popular film. His other widely read works include “Mi Hermano el Alcalde,” “El Rio del Tiempo” and “El Desbarrancadero.”
Vallejo will be presented with a $150,000 prize at the FIL opening ceremony on November 26 in Mexico.