Portuguese American Journal

Award: Mia Couto recipient of the 2013 Camões Prize for Literature – Brazil

Mia Couto is the winner of the 2013 Camões Prize for Literature, one of the most prestigious international awards honoring the work of Portuguese language writers – it was announced Monday, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The awarding jury included writers José Eduardo Agualusa and Joao Paulo Borges Coelho, journalist José Carlos Vasconcelos,  professor Clara Crabbé Rocha, critic Alcir Pécora and Ambassador and member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters Alberto da Costa e Silva.

Born in Mozambique, Mia Couto, 58, is the best-selling author of 25 books and has been translated into 20 languages. Previous recipients of the €100,000 cash prize include Jorge Amado (Brazil), José Saramago (Portugal), António Lobo Antunes (Portugal), and Sophia de Mello Breyner (Portugal).

In 2002, a committee of African literary critics named his novel Sleepwalking Land, first published in 1992,one of the twelve best African books of the twentieth century. The book had won the Mozambican Writers Association National Prize for Fiction in 1995.

His novels have been awarded major literary prizes in Mozambique, Portugal, Brazil and Italy. He was the first African author to have received the Latin, Union Award of Romance Languages.

Two of Couto’s novels have been made into feature films and his books have been bestsellers in Africa, Europe and South America.

The Camões Prize was created in 1988, by Portugal and Brazil, to distinguish writers of the Portuguese language whose work has contributed to the enrichment of the literary and cultural heritage of the Portuguese language.

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updated 05/30/13

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