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Guadalajara, Jalisco, November 02, 2020

The Sor Juana 2020 FIL Award goes to Camila Sosa Villada

A judging panel composed of Ana García Bergua, Ave Barrera and Daniel Centeno Maldonado decided to award the prize to the Argentine writer for her novel Las malas, and praised her great narrative skills and the strength of her characters


“Transvestites wait under branches or in front of cars, they walk their spell through the mouth of the wolf, in front of the statue of Dante, the historical statue that gives its name to the avenue. Transvestites climb every night from that hell no one writes about, to bring spring back to the world.” The story of aunt Encarna and a child named El Brillo de los Ojos [the apple of the eyes] is told in Las malas [bad girls] (Tusquets, Argentina, 2019). For this novel, Camila Sosa Villada was awarded the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 2020 Literature Award by the Guadalajara International Book Fair. The Argentine writer will receive this award on Wednesday, December 2, at 5:00 PM, in a virtual ceremony that will be broadcast on the website and the FIL social networks.

            “Las malas is fiction and reality worked in the mill of trade and inspiration,” state the minutes of the judging panel, that in this edition was composed of Ana García Bergua and Ave Barrera, from Mexico, and Daniel Centeno Maldonado, from Venezuela. The document highlights “the great narrative skill, the originality of the environment and the strength of the characters portrayed” by the author. “Her text is rough and at the same time beautiful, this strange balance turns it into an outstanding work, full of rhythm, rage and redemption,” says the ruling by which Las malas was declared the unanimous winner among 67 candidates from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

                Camila Sosa Villada was born in 1982 in La Falda (Córdoba, Argentina). She studied four years of social communication and another four years of theater degree at the National University of Córdoba. In 2009 she premiered her first show, Carnes tolendas, retrato escénico de un travesti [“Carnes tolendas” – an on-stage portrait of a transvestite]. She is the author of the poetry book La novia de Sandro [Sandro's girlfriend] (Black Horse, 2015, and Tusquets, 2020) and of an autobiographical essay titled El viaje inútil [the useless journey] (DocumentA/Escénicas Editions, 2018). Las malas, as it reads on the back cover of the novel, is “a guided tour of the author’s imagination and a chronicle different from all others. The two trans facets that most repel and terrify so-called good society converge in her DNA: the fury and the joy of being a transvestite.”

                The Argentinean writer describes Las malas as “an ode to transvestism, how I lived my own transvestism, how I felt my parents took it, how I felt the people where I was from took it,” and admits that, “although I wrote the book between 2017 and 2018, it began to be written from the day I was born.” In 2018, thanks to the collaboration between the FIL and Ediciones DocumentA/Escénicas, from Argentina, the actress also visited Guadalajara and shared her experiences with the public in a talk titled “Trans/escrituras: Camila nos cuenta su historia” [Trans/writing: Camila tells her story], in the Juan Rulfo auditorium, which was full of young people. The live broadcast was followed by hundreds of people and its recording, during the days of the Fair, attracted more than 26 thousand viewers.

                Conceived and named by Nicaraguan writer Milagros Palma, the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Literature Award is a ten-thousand-dollar prize for female authors of novels published in Spanish. It has been awarded to María Gainza (2019), Clara Usón (2018), Nona Fernández, (2017), Marina Perezagua (2016), Perla Suez (2015), Inés Fernández Moreno (2014), Ana García Bergua (2013), Lina Meruane (2012), Almudena Grandes (2011), Claudia Piñeiro (2010), Cristina Rivera Garza (2001 and 2009), Gioconda Belli (2008), Tununa Mercado (2007), Claudia Amengual (2006), Paloma Villegas (2005), Cristina Sánchez-Andrade (2004), Margo Glantz (2003), Ana Gloria Moya (2002), Sylvia Iparraguirre (1999), Silvia Molina (1998), Laura Restrepo (1997), Elena Garro (1996), Tatiana Lobo (1995), Marcela Serrano (1994) and Angelina Muñiz-Huberman (1993).

Presentation of the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Literature Award 2020 to Camila Sosa Villada
Wednesday, December 2, 5:00 PM


For further information contact:

Press Office and Publicity General coordinator, Mariño González at the phone number (+52) 33 3810 0331, ext. 952