Last May 9, Cuban writer Leonardo Padura was awarded in Italy the 2016 Apoxiomeno International Prize, a recognition given every year to figures with an outstanding trajectory in the sphere of culture, show business or sports and who have made a notable contribution in subjects related to law and order.
The awarding of the Prize took place at the headquarters of the Museum of Communication of Arezzo, a city founded by the Etruscans 2,600 years ago, in the Italian region of Tuscany, cradle of the Renaissance.
The prize was instituted by the Apoxiomeno Art Association, based in Florence, and which for 20 years has been contributing to the promotion of Italian culture with the holding of events linked to diverse artistic and sports manifestations, and it also distinguishes international figures.
The recognition consists of a sculpture reproducing the image of the classic figure of Apoxiomeno, a recurrent theme of the classic Greek sculpture and whose most recent creation was the one in bronze created by Lisipo de Sicion during the times of the Emperor Alexander, today lost.
During the awards ceremony the writer thanked the Association’s board of directors, the authorities of the city of Arezzo and, especially, the Italian readers for having distinguished him with an international prize given for the first time to a Latin American. Other authors who have merited the prize include important figures of Italian literature like Carlo Luccarelli and Andrea Camilleri, the father of inspector Montalbano.
Leonardo Padura, already recognised in the international sphere as the creator of lieutenant (now ex lieutenant) investigator (he is still it) Mario Conde, the protagonist of a series of novels that already amount to eight titles, fromPasado perfecto(Havana Blue; 1991) to Herejes (2013), had already been distinguished in Italy with the Knight of Arts and Letters Order and prizes like the Francesco Gelmi, which he won for The Man Who Loved Dogs.
During his stay in Italy the writer also travelled to the city of Perugia, where he participated in a meeting dedicated to Spanish-Language Literature, which this year had among its guests writers Paco Ignacio Taibo II, from Mexico, and Chilean Luis Sepúlveda.
The Cuban’s European tour began in early May with a meeting with readers at the Seville Book Fair, and included the presentation in France of his book of short stories Aquelloestabadeseandoocurrir (That Was Wanting to Happen), translated into French with the title Ce qui dèsiraitarriver.
At the end of his tour Padura will return to Spain where he will present in Barcelona’s Casa de Américaa theatre recreation of his novel La neblina del ayer (Havana Fever), written by Cuban playwright and novelist AbilioEstévez, and will later participate in the Madrid Book Fair to promote his latest book, Regreso a Itaca (Return to Ithaca), this time the result of his work as a scriptwriter.
The new title includes the script by the same name written together with French director Laurent Cantet, which served as the foundation for a French-Cuban film by the same name, and also includes other materials that date back to the very genesis of that project, whose origin is inspired by an episode of his work La novela de mi vida (The Novel of My Life). (2016)
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