Cuban Cintio Vitier wins Juan Rulfo Prize
"I didn't expect anything like this," Vitier said by telephone relay during
announcement ceremony. "It has really moved me."
Vitier, 80, is one of Cuba's most-honored writers and critics but is less-known
outside the island and is little-published in English.
The award jury called him "one of the most important writers of his generation"
said he was "an authentic humanist."
The award for Latin American, Caribbean or Spanish or Portuguese literature
sponsored by the Guadalajara International Book Fair, which will take place
November 30 through December 8 this year.
Vitier won Cuba's National Literature Prize in 1988. In May this year,
President Fidel Castro gave him the Order of Jose Marti for his studies of the
Cuban independence hero. Vitier is honorary president of Cuba's Center for Marti
Born in Key West, Florida, in 1921, Vitier attended a school started by
his father in
Matanzas, Cuba, and graduated as an attorney from the University of Havana in
1947 -- three years before Castro graduated from the same department.
His works prose such as "From Pena Pobre," volumes of poems such as
"Evenings" and "Testimonies" and books of criticism of literature and culture.
Vitier is known as a devout Catholic layman as well as a loyal revolutionary.
His son, Jose Maria Vitier, is one of Cuba's most famous musicians, the
of the "Misa Cubana" played for John Paul II's 1998 visit and of the music for the
film "Strawberries and Chocolate."
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.