Mexican writer Cristina Rivera Garza receives the Jose Donoso Ibero-American Prize for Literature

“Something lit up inside of me, that took all the words under its lap. I struggled for years to write the only story I wanted to write: the story of the life of my luminous sister, who disappeared at the age of twenty, when she was finishing college. Those of us who lost loved ones at the hands of gender-based violence. Gender is haunted by silent and silent mourning at the same time.”

With these words, reminiscent of her younger sister, Mexican writer Cristina Rivera Garza was awarded the 2021 José Donoso Ibero-American Prize for Literature, awarded by the University of Talca.

The writer, unanimously chosen by a specialized jury as the winner last September, received this honor today. The Certificate of Excellence notes that the Mexican author “illuminates and explores genres that transcend tradition, always with the imprint of intellectual solidarity. In this work, he outlines physical, geopolitical, and aesthetic frontiers. Each book is a brave adventure that combines contemporary and modernity.”

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The ceremony was held in person at the Graduate School and Extension Center of the University of Talca, located in the Providencia region.

The president of the university, Alvaro Rojas, who led the activity, highlighted the creator’s work and the award, which he said make it possible to make Ibero-American writing visible.

He stressed that “this award combines the literature of a continent, a language that is constantly moving, renewing, transcending borders and inventing itself with the voices of the street and its writers.”

The university authority confirmed that excellence has reached an important position in the cultural field. “It is a standardized award, recognized internationally, and it belongs to the University of Talca, which has a special sensitivity to these issues and a relevant development in the arts,” he said.

The ceremony was also attended by the president-elect of the university, Carlos Torres. Academic and Recognition Coordinator, Claire Mercer; Chair of the Jury and Academic Committee of the Catholic University, Lorena Amaro; Director of Banco Santander Universities and Institutions, Rodrigo Machuca; In addition to prominent figures from the world of culture and literature.

Rector-elect Carlos Torres emphasized that “this award highlights the role we play as a public university in promoting literature and the arts. When we review the trajectory of those who have received awards, it can be seen that there is a vast and rich literature in Iberian America. We want to continue and strengthen this celebration in the years to come.” Coming, and hopefully, the pandemic will allow us to continue to work personally, because these cases are important to the existence and work of our institution.”

Reward or reward

The award-winning author was awarded a medal, a diploma, and $50,000 for this honor, given by Banco Santander, the competition’s sponsor.

Rodrigo Machuca, Banco Santander Director for Universities and Institutions, noted, “We are proud to have supported the José Donoso Award from the University of Talca from the beginning, because it is an award of not only national but also global significance. As a bank, we support not only scholarships and entrepreneurship in country, but also by culture.”

The award’s coordinator and academic at the Institute of Human Studies at UTalca, Claire Mercier, emphasized that “Christina Garza’s work has the effect of virtuous immunity, which makes comparison with the pandemic scenario. That is, the immunity of society, where the protection of others and others is important. In her work, Christina builds biblical units It bears witness to weakness and serves the common good.”

For her part, the Director of Artistic Cultural Guidance and Publishing House of Talca University, Marcela Burnoz, revealed that “in 20 years of the award, in which 15 men and 5 women have won, the character of Cristina Rivera Garza. It gives a greater and more valuable connotation of distinction, especially in the times we live in.” In which “.

The directive indicated that they would be releasing a book by the author that would be added to the Jose Donoso Prize pool. The text is called “The Broken Before All, 125 Infraessays.”

Notably, the award-winning author won the 2022 Mazatlan Prize for Literature for her book “El Invincible Verano de Liliana”. In Chile, his books “Dolerse”, “La Fracture Exacta” (Libros del thisdo) and “Los muertos indóciles” (Books of the Broken Woman) were published.

Excellence History

The José Donoso Prize was created in 2001 on the initiative of the Juan Ignacio Molina Institute for Human Studies at the University of Talca, to identify relevant figures in the field of Ibero-American intellectual production. Meanwhile, a tribute to Chilean writer José Donoso, whose roots go back to the Maule region.

Previous winner was Christina Peri Rossi (2019); Mario Palatine (2018); Raul Zurita (2017); Pablo Montoya (2016); Rodrigo Rey Rosa (2015); Silviano Santiago (2014); Pedro Lempel (2013); Juan Viloro (2012); Sergio Ramirez (2011); Dimila Elite (2010); Jorge Volpe (2009); Javier Marias (2008); Miguel Barnett (2007); Antonio Lobo Antunes (2006); Ricardo Biglia (2005); Antonio Cisneros (2004); Isabel Allende (2003); Beatrice Sarlo (2002); and Jose Emilio Pacheco (2001). In 2020, the award was suspended due to the pandemic.

In its 2021 edition, the José Donoso Prize will celebrate its 20th anniversary, a date that is celebrated alongside the fortieth anniversary of the University of Talca.

As noted by Albornoz, as part of publishing the work of award-winning writers, Talca University Publishing House publishes their titles in the Jose Donoso Prize Collection. Books available at

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