Venezuelan novelist Rodrigo Blanco Calderón Wins Prix Rive Gauche 2016 for The Night

                    [Photo: Javier Oliaga]

On June 30th, Rodrigo Blanco Calderón’s vision of an out of synch and neurotic Caracas was awarded the 2016 Rive Gauch Prize in Paris. This literary prize founded by Laurence Biava in 2011 has only been awarded to four international writers: Jeffrey Eugenides (USA) in 2013, Edward St Aubyn (England) in 2014, Gary Shteyngart (Russia/USA) in 2015 and, this year, the recipient was the Venezuelan Rodrigo Blanco Calderón.

This is the fourth Venezuelan book to receive a prize this year: Rafael Cadenas was awarded the Federico García Lorca International Poetry Prize in Spain, Yolanda Pantin received the 2015 Poetas del Mundo Latino Víctor Sandoval Prize in Mexico and Alberto Barrera Tyszka took home the XI Tusquets Prize for Fiction in Spain.

“At first it was a long, unexpected blackout that lasted five hours. Caracas seemed like an anthill that had been uncorked. Beyond the cancelled appointments, the checks that weren’t cashed, the rotting food and the collapse of the subway, Miguel Ardiles actually remembers that day with an almost paternal fondness: the city experienced the stupor of being a cave and a labyrinth.”

These are the opening sentences of The Night, Rodrigo Blanco Calderón’s first novel published earlier this year in three editions around the world: with the small independent press Madera Fina in Venezuela, Alfaguara in Spain and Gallimard in France.

Previously recognized for his short story collections Las rayas (2011), Los invencibles (2007) and Una larga fila de hombres (2005), he’s now a prize-winning novelist.

You can read the first chapter of The Night (in Spanish), at Prodavinci.

{ Orianna Camejo, Efecto Cocuyo, 30 June 2016 }

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