The jury unanimously awarded the narrative prize to the novel “A luz de Beijing”, by Francisco José Viegas, the poetry prize to “The choir of disorder”, by Nuno Júdice, and the essay prize to “Uma contra-música. Novos llansolianos writings “, by João Barrento, and” Walter Benjamin. Melancolia e Revolução “, by Maria João Cantinho.
Similar to what happened in 2019, this year the jury also decided not to award the First Work Award, considering that there was no exceptional quality in the first works in the competition. The announcement was made today by the president of PEN Clube Português, Teresa Martins Marques, as general coordinator of the PEN Awards.
In the narrative category, the jury, composed by Teresa Sousa de Almeida, António Apolinário Lourenço and Sérgio Guimarães de Sousa, distinguished the novel by Francisco José Viegas, the day after the same book was awarded the Fernando Namora Prize.
Published by Porto Editora, “A luz de Beijing” is a novel in which the figure of detective Jaime Ramos wonders about the meaning of being Portuguese in a country dominated by complicit elites, inbreeding and hidden powers.
It is a work that explores, through poetic language, the mystery, the creation and the revelation of the absolute and the sacred.
In the rehearsal, the members of the jury – Fernanda Mota Alves, Fernanda Gil Costa and Miguel Serras Pereira – distinguished two works: one, “A counter-music. New Llansolian writings“, edited by Mariposa Azual, gathers diverse texts around Maria Gabriela Llansol‘s writing and universe, based on the author’s estate; the other, “Walter Benjamin. Melancolia e Revolução”, by Editora Exclamação, explores the thought of that philosopher, in the perspective of the impossibility of delimiting it, making it impossible to determine whether it was materialistic or theological.
The PEN Awards are an initiative supported by the Directorate-General for Books, Archives, and Libraries (DGLAB).
Portugal has been part of the PEN Club International since 1979, with the Club of Poets, Essayists and Novelists (PEN) being the largest and oldest organization of writers, worldwide – in an initiative dating from 1921 – carried out by English authors.