Bonnet and Abad close in on Vargas Llosa novel prize

Two great authors of Colombian literature make the list of finalists for the V Mario Vargas Llosa Novel Biennial Prize. It’s about Piedad Bonnet, “What to do with these pieces”; and Hector Abad Fasciolense, with “Except My Heart, Everything Is Fine”.

Due to their literary quality, the works of Colombian writers were considered by the jury to select them for the prize, which will be announced on May 28 during the closing ceremony of V Mario Vargas in the Auditorium of the University of Guadalajara (Mexico). Biennial Losa.

new Century Piedad spoke to Bonet to find out her first impressions: “It is very important for me as a writer and for a novel to be among the finalists. Also, writers with extensive experience compete, from many publishers, they They are the ones who submit the books to the competition, which means authors from different countries are competing, so it is very exciting to be among the finalists”.

Bonnet insisted that the fact of being in the final is a reward for her: “It gives me a lot of visibility. It should also be mentioned that there are other writers like me who are in the same position, which is great, like Hector Abad Fasciolens, and of course, what he wants is to win, and if not, I’m not going to be sad, because only being a finalist revives me as a writer”.

He also emphasized that it would be “a way for many readers to read a novel they probably didn’t know about. For me it would be a great opportunity.”

Bonnet has published nine books of poetry, several collections, and the volume “Poetry Reunited” (Lumen, 2016). In addition, she is the author of six plays, the novels “Despue de todo” (2001), “Para otros es el cielo” (2004), “Siempre fue invierno” (2007), “El prestige de la belleza” (2010). , “Where No Weightage for Me” (2018), “What to Do With in Peace” (2021), and “What Has No Name” (2013), an intimate and poignant story about the death of her son, was included in 2016 by Babelia among the hundred best books of the past twenty-five years. This title and all of his novels are published by Alfaguara. He has won the National Poetry Prize awarded by the Colombian Institute of Culture (Culcultra)., in 1994; In 2011, the Casa de America Prize for American Poetry in Madrid; In 2012, in Aguascalientes, Mexico, the Victor Sandoval Award; In 2014, José Lezama Lima from Casa de las Américas; and in 2016, the Generation of 27 Award in Malaga.

In “What to Do with These Pieces” Bonnet creates a portrait of quiet and dangerous dissent, and of women beset by very different types of abuse, from the minimal and inconspicuous to the most obvious and deadly.

Hector Abad Fasciolens

“Everything is fine, except my heart”, by Héctor Abad Facciolens, tells the story of priest Luis Córdoba, who is waiting for a heart transplant. He is a friendly, tall, fat priest, but his size makes it difficult to find a donor. As the doctor advises him to rest and his residence has several stairs, he finds accommodation in a house where two women, one of whom is recently separated, and three children live. Córdoba, well-mannered and cultured, a film critic and opera expert, enjoys sharing what he knows with women without husbands and children without fathers.

“I wrote the novel in the same room where Mercedes and Gabriel García Márquez slept in Mexico. I am very happy to be on this list and in such good company,” the author admitted to The Medium during a telephone interview.

Hector Abad Faciolense was born in Medellin. He studied modern languages ​​and literature at the University of Turin (Italy). In addition to essays, translations and literary criticism, she has published, among others, the following books: “Issues of a Dissatisfied Hidalgo” (Alfaguara, 1994), “Culinary Texts for Depressed Women” (Alfaguara, 1997), “Fragmentos de “Amor Furtivo” (Alfaguara, 1998), “Narrows” (2003; Alfaguara, 2020), “El Olvido Que Ceresmos” (2006; Alfaguara, 2017), “La Occulta” (Alfaguara, 2015), “What Was Present” ( Alfaguara, 2019) and “Everything is fine, except for my heart” (Alfaguara, 2022).

With his third novel, “Basura” (2000; Debolcillo, 2017), he won the I Casa de America Award for Innovative Narrative in Spain. He has also published “Involuntary Testament” (2011), a book of poems; One of the essays, “Forms of Idleness” (Aguilar, 2007), and the other of fiction, “The Betrayal of Memory” (Alfaguara, 2009). His books have been translated into more than fifteen languages.


The Vargas Llosa Chair created the Mario Vargas Llosa Biennial Novel Prize in 2013 with the aim of giving literature in Spanish global visibility. In this edition, the jury was composed of Soledad Alvarez (Chair), Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Mixi Strausfeld, Alma Guillermoprito, Giovanna Polarolo and Raul Tola (Director of the Vargas Llosa Chair).

To give more resonance and clarity to the prize, its distribution is part of a literary meeting attended by the finalists, the jury, journalists, critics and Ibero-American writers. The first two editions of the biennial took place in 2014 and 2016 in Lima, Peru. In 2018, the Vargas Llosa Chair and the UDEG Foundation signed an agreement for the next three editions (2019, 2021 and 2023). Guadalajara City, Mexico.

This year, the Mario Vargas Llosa Biennial is organized by the Vargas Llosa Chair, University of Guadalajara, the International Foundation for Liberty and the University of Guadalajara Foundation. The first edition of the Vargas Llosa Biennial Novel Prize was for “Forbidden to enter without pants” (Six Barral) by the Spanish Juan Bonilla; The second version fell on the work of “Si te vieras con mis ojos” (Alfaguara) by the Chilean Carlos Franz; The third edition was for “The Night” (Alfaguara) by the Venezuelan Rodrigo Blanco Calderón, and the fourth edition was for the novel “Volver la vista etrus” (Alfaguara, 2021) by the Colombian Juan Gabriel Vasquez.

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