the third paradise, by the Chilean writer and journalist Cristian Alarcón, has unanimously won the 2022 Alfaguara Novel Prize, one of the most important literary awards given to an unpublished work written in Spanish, endowed with 144,500 euros and the publication of the work. The jury has highlighted “the narrative vigor of a beautiful novel, with a dual structure. Set in various places in Chile and Argentina. The protagonist reconstructs the history of his ancestors, while delving into his passion for cultivating a garden, in search of a personal paradise”.
Also, the novel that will hit bookstores on March 24, is considered by the jury as an “open door to the hope of finding a refuge from collective tragedies in small things.” “Beauty begins in the wonder of flowers, as beautiful as they are finite, in which we will always see the mystery that cannot be solved,” says the author himself.
The jury was chaired by the writer Fernando Aramburu, and made up of fellow writers Olga Merino and Ray Loriga, the writer and bookseller of Lata Peinada, Paula Vázquez, the editor and director of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Marisol Schulz Manaut , and Pilar Reyes (with voice but no vote), editorial director of Alfaguara.
More than 2,400 manuscripts from Spain and Latin America have been submitted for the Alfaguara Novel Prize. It is also the first time that the participants have been able to send their originals both in physical and digital format, which, according to the Alfaguara publishing house, has meant “an absolute participation record”. Of the 2,428 manuscripts that have been submitted to the XXIV edition, 1,293 have been submitted from Spain, 419 from Argentina, 259 from Mexico, 187 from Colombia, 74 from the United States, 73 from Chile, 88 from Peru and 35 from Uruguay.
Last year the Alfaguara Novel Prize went to the abysses by Pilar Quintana, for entering “into the darkness of the world of adults through the eyes of a girl”.