Woman who won €1m literary prize turns out to be three men

Spain’s model of Elena Ferrante has been revealed to be three middle-aged males.

Late on Friday night time the €1m Planeta prize — the world’s highest paying literary trophy — was awarded to Carmen Mola, an creator who till now has been introduced as a feminine college professor who writes beneath a pen identify due to her need for anonymity.

Though Mola’s books are decidedly gory, the author has been publicised because the “Spanish Elena Ferrante” — a reference to the reclusive, and in addition pseudonymous, Italian literary novelist.

However when the primary prize on the Planeta awards ceremony was introduced within the presence of King Felipe VI in Barcelona, three individuals stepped as much as the rostrum — and none of them was a lady.

Neither Jorge Díaz, Agustín Martínez nor Antonio Mercero are teachers, however the truth is tv scriptwriters of their 40s and 50s who’ve labored on Spanish reveals similar to On Responsibility Pharmacy, Central Hospital and No Heaven With out Breasts.

Their story may barely be extra completely different from previous examples similar to Mary Ann Evans, the nineteenth century English creator who wrote as “George Eliot” to guard her privateness and keep away from being stereotyped as a feminine gentle novelist.

“Carmen Mola is just not, like all of the lies we’ve been telling, a college professor,” stated Díaz on profitable the prize. “We’re three buddies who at some point 4 years in the past determined to mix our expertise to inform a narrative.”

Martínez steered in an interview with Spain’s EFE information company that the authors selected to put in writing beneath one identify as a result of “collective work is just not as valued in literature [as in] different arts similar to portray or music”.

Looking back Planeta tipped its hand to multiple particular person profitable the prize on Thursday, when it introduced the primary award could be elevated from €600,000 to €1m, so outstripping the Nobel Prize for literature, which at present alternate charges is value simply over €100 much less, at 10m Swedish krona. Every of the authors will take away a 3rd of the €1m whole.

Carmen Mola is finest identified for a trilogy of violent novels starring police inspector Elena Blanco, a hard-charging police inspector with a keenness for karaoke, grappa and informal intercourse. The books, printed by Penguin Random Home, have offered greater than 200,000 copies, been translated into 11 languages and are being tailored for tv by Endemol Shine and ViacomCBS Worldwide Studios.

However the Carmen Mola e-book that received the Planeta prize — beating 653 different contenders — is a historic thriller, The Beast, coping with the homicide of kids throughout a cholera epidemic in Madrid in 1834.

The prize can be a approach of securing and publicising works of fiction for Editorial Planeta, Penguin Random Home’s nice rival in Spain. The award is reserved for unpublished work, and the winner’s acceptance of Planeta’s publishing rights is a situation of entry. The circumstances additionally state that every one pseudonymous authors should embody their particulars in a sealed envelope, which can solely be opened within the occasion that they win.

Within the case of Friday’s win, because the prize’s organisers stated, there was a “pseudonym behind a pseudonym”, since The Beast was submitted beneath the pen-name Sergio López, which was then revealed to be Carmen Mola, and subsequently unveiled as Díaz, Martínez and Mercero.

The e-book is because of be printed by Planeta beneath Carmen Mola’s identify subsequent month, though Mola remains to be listed as a Penguin Random Home creator.


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