Earlier this year I wrote about Elena Poniatowska’s masterful study of the 1968 massacre of students at Tlatelolco in Mexico City. Today the jury for the Premio Cervantes, the most renowned literary prize in the Spanish-speaking world, awarded this year’s prize to Poniatowska. She is the first Mexican woman and only the fourth woman ever to win the prestigious award.
Spanish Minister of Education and Culture José Ignacio Wert cited Poniatowska’s “brilliant career in various literary genres,” above all the work she did as a young journalist concerned about human rights, the defense of freedom and the fight against corruption.
“Her work stands out for its strong commitment to contemporary history. Author of emblematic works that describe the twentieth century from an international and inclusive perspective, Poniatowska is one of the most powerful voices in contemporary Spanish literature,” said Wert.