The writer Luis Mateo Díez has been awarded the National Prize for Spanish Letters 2020, as announced in Twitter the Minister of Culture, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes. The award, granted by the Ministry of Culture, is endowed with 40.000 euros.
According to the jury’s ruling, the uniqueness of Luis Mateo Diez «As a writer in various genres, and especially as a storyteller, he is heir to an oral culture in which he was born and from which he registers his progressive disappearance. To this is added a technique and a poetic language of extraordinary richness and a constant concern for the moral dimension of the human being.
Luis Mateo Diez (Villablino, León 1942) is one of the most prominent storytellers on the panorama of contemporary Spanish literature. Graduated in Law and retired civil servant of the Madrid City Council, he collaborated between 1963 and 1968 in the poetic magazine «Claraboya». With the trilogy formed by “The spirit of the moor”, “The ruin of the sky” and “The darkening”, he created his own imaginary territory: the kingdom of Celama, rural metaphor and “window into the depths and mystery of the human heart.”
Celama jumped from the books to the stage with a theatrical adaptation, performed at various international festivals, which won the Rivas Cherif Award from the Association of Theater Directors (2005). In the year 2000, Luis Mateo Diez He was distinguished with the Leonés Award of the Year and in 2014 he was named honorary doctorate by the University of León.
Translated into different languages, its literary work He has been the subject of doctoral theses at Spanish, European and American universities. Among the awards he has received are: the Café Gijón award, for “Apócrifo del carnation y la espina” (1972); the Ignacio Aldecoa Award, for «Cenizas» (1976); the National Narrative Prize (1987 and 2000) for “The source of age” and “The ruin of heaven” –with which he also won the Critics Prize–; the Castilla y León Prize for Literature (2000); the Critics Award of Castilla y León, for “The fruits of the fog” (2009), and the Francisco Umbral Award, for “The head in flames” (2012).
He has published his short novels in a single volume entitled “Fables of feeling.” In 2013, he donated several manuscripts of novels and preparatory notes to the National Library of Spain. In 2014, “La soledad de los perdidos” came to bookstores and the following year his work “Los breakfasts at Café Borenes” appeared.
Some of Luis Mateo Díez’s narratives have been adapted to the cinema, such as the story «Los grajos del sochantre», recreated in the film by José María Martín Sarmiento «El filandón», or the novel «The source of age», shot by Julio Sánchez Valdés for Spanish Television.
On December 22, 2015 he was awarded the Madrid Community Literature Prize. In October 2016, the University of Alcalá de Henares and the Saint Louis University of Madrid dedicated the international congress “The Art of Counting” to José María Merino and Luis Mateo Díez.
In March 2017 he published “Vicissitudes”, presented on April 6 in Madrid. In February 2018 “The Son of Things” appeared. In May 2019, he transferred the unreality and phantasmagoria to the four stories of “People I Met in Dreams.” In November 2019 his novel “Crystal Youth” came to light, a story about the fragility of that time of life, “but not in a generational or testimonial sense, but about the myth of that age.” In the middle of last October he published his latest novel, “The sidereal old men.”
Luis Mateo Diez it is member of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) and has received, in addition to the aforementioned awards, the Miguel Delibes award and the D’Achtall Observatory Literature Award.