Javier Cercas is honored with the new André Malraux Award in France

The writer wins the award, which distinguishes a work for its political commitment, with “El monarca de las sombras” (The Monarch of the Shadows).

The writer Javier Cercas (Ibahernando, Cáceres, 1962) has been honored with the André Malraux Award, a new French award that rewards a work of fiction "to the service of the human condition," in reference to the title of the masterpiece of the French intellectual and politician, known for his defense of human rights. The award is intended to carry on the memory of Malraux (1901-1976) through a recent novel that is distinguished by its political commitment. Cercas won the prize thanks to his latest book, “The Monarch of the Shadows” (Literatura Random House) where he tells the story of his great uncle, Manuel Mena, who died when he participated in the Battle of the Ebro during the Civil War, being second lieutenant of the Falange and who later would be remembered by his family as a hero. Cercas made his way onto a list of nine finalists, which included names such as Roberto Saviano and Zadie Smith, as well as former French socialist minister Aurélie Filippetti and the writer and journalist Philippe Lançon, author of Les Lambeaux, in which he recounts his experience as a survivor of the Charlie Hebdo bombing in 2015. The winner takes 1,933 euros - the year “The Human Condition” was published - and a trip around the world. Saviano received an honorable mention from the jury, which included figures such as the writer Laurence Debray and the art historian Diana Widmaier Picasso, for "the different battles he leads with courage."

Read more: El País - Cultura

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