Mircea Cărtărescu, a poet, essayist, and journalist from Romania, has been selected to receive the FIL Prize for Literature in Romance Languages 2022 from the Guadalajara International Book Fair (“FIL” stands for Feria Internacional del Libro).
The jury that chose Cărtărescu, a Bucharest native, cites several reasons for its decision, including the 66-year-old author’s “imaginative and brimming prose that combines fantastic and realistic elements, the thoughtful fictions that inquire into the construction of an identity from a liminal and peripheral space in the European landscape.”
The prize, which includes a whopping $150,000 in cash, is Guadalajara’s most coveted honor. On November 26, Cărtărescu will receive the honor at the fair’s Juan Rulfo Auditorium.
Lorena Amaro Castro of Chile, Marco Belpoliti of Italy, Javier Guerrero of Venezuela, Maria Eunice Moreira of Brazil, Oana Sabo of Romania, Antonio Sáez Delgado of Spain, and Laura Scarabelli of Italy make up the jury for this year’s award.
In more of its rationale, the jury writes that Cărtărescu is “a multifaceted writer of maximalist style that is fully aligned with the tradition of world literature, questioning his readers all over the world from a dreamlike and existential point of view.”
In total, 67 authors from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Spain, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, Romania, Uruguay, and Venezuela were included in this year’s 80 nominees for the award. Literary organizations, publishing businesses, cultural and educational institutions, as well as the jury members themselves, submitted applications.
As a participant in the Festival of European Letters in 2017, Cărtărescu attended the enormous Guadalajara exposition. He inaugurated the poetry section of the Guadalajara fair at that time.
Cărtărescu has received numerous awards in the past, including the Prix Formentor, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the Leteo Prize, the Thomas Mann Prize for Literature, and the Romanian Writers’ Union Award in 1980, 1990, and 1994.