On November 7, wordsmith Luis Mateo Díez was announced as the recipient of Spain’s most coveted lifetime achievement award – the 2023 Miguel de Cervantes Prize.
The award is presented each year on April 23 on the death anniversary of namesake author Cervantes, best known for his timeless novel Don Quixote.
The 81-year-old laureate, Díez, garnered the committee's favour for his grand storytelling in Castilian – a true heir to Cervantes' spirit. Praised for confronting adversity, Díez has opened the door to fantastical dimensions through his words, taking readers on extraordinary journeys.
One of the most prolific writers in the Spanish literary scene, his work has been translated into several languages; he has two poetic volumes but has also penned short stories, novels, autobiographies and insightful essays.
Díez's work is characterised by unique wisdom, prose, and style; he constantly challenges his reader, all while blending cultural and folk elements into the text. Distinct, demanding, and highly original, his writing is marked by expressive humour and satirical mimicry.
Díez takes on the complexity of the human condition in his own mysterious way, narrated through transparent, deceptively simple, and at times poetic language, which is intertwined with traditional oral literature.