Arts: Eduardo Lalo wins Rómulo Gallegos Prize for Fiction

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Eduardo Lalo wins Rómulo Gallegos Prize for Fiction; Romantic Buenos Aires: the first ever festival of the romantic novel; Blockbusters on the underground; Circus winners come to Bogotá

Eduardo Lalo wins Rómulo Gallegos novel prize

Puerto Rican writer Eduardo Lalo has been awarded the eighteenth International Rómulo Gallegos Prize for Fiction, for his book Simone. Lalo’s previous titles include La inutilidad and El deseo del lápiz.

Simone was competing with ten other novels for the prize, which is judged by a team of eminent writers and academics in the field of Hispanic literature, including previous winner Ricardo Piglia.

The prize, which was created in 1964 honour of Venezuelan novelist and politician Rómulo Gallegos, is awarded every two years in Caracas. It is worth US$100,000, making it one of the richest literary prizes in the world.

The award intends to stimulate the creative activity of Spanish language writers and is awarded by the government of Venezuela. This year there were 200 entries from 17 different countries.

Romantic Buenos Aires: the first ever festival of the romantic novel

6 June saw the launch of the first ever romantic fiction festival in Buenos Aires. Talks, seminars, performances, interviews and workshops ran throughout the four day festival in the Recoleta Cultural Centre, which hosted romantic novelists such as Alexandra Risley and Gloria Casañas.

‘Due to the notable growth that Argentina’s romantic fiction sector has experienced over the last four years,’ explained festival director Horacio García, ‘the decision was made to set up this festival to promote reading and interaction between writers and readers.’

Highlights of the festival included readings from famous love letters, including Yoko Ono to John Lennon, Napoleon to Josephine and Victoria Ocampo to Pierre Drieu la Rochell.

Visitors were also invited to leave one of their own love letters – and three thousand of them did. The winning letter will be chosen in ten days time; the prize is a ten day trip to Paris for two.

Blockbusters on the underground

This weekend, at Baquedano station in central Santiago in Chile, four films were shown free of charge to commuters on the underground.

The project, Cine de Estación (Station Cinema), returns this year to include three successful international films, Amigos (Friends, France 2011), Bachelor Party (United States, 2012) and Silver Linings Playbook (United States, 2012) as well as the 2013 Chilean film Qué pena tu familia, written and directed by Nicolás López and starring Ariel Levy.

Circus winners come to Bogotá

The winners of the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival began their 2013 Fantasy Tour on 7 June in Bogotá.

More than 40 performers including acrobats, clowns, cyclists, ballet dancers and tight-rope walkers star in this international production in a 4,500 event space.

The performers are a diverse range of nationalities: German, Russian, Mexican, Chilean, Monacan, Spanish, American, Brazilian and Ukrainian.

Ticket prices start at COP$25,000 (US$13). The event runs until 16 July.

About the Author

Ellen Jones
Ellen Jones studied English and Spanish at St Hugh’s College, Oxford and now works in London in the books department of United Agents. She has lived in Buenos Aires, and more recently Santiago de Chile, where she worked variously as a journalist and a freelance translator. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, in both Europe and Latin America.