The novelist, poet and translator Pilar Adón is the winner National Fiction Awardgranted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, thanks to Of beasts and birds (Gutenberg Galaxy), considered by the jury as the best novel of the year 2022. Adón, who already won the Francisco Umbral Prize for the same work, will receive 30,000 euros and will succeed María Pilar Jiménez Aleixandre, Xesús Fraga and Juan Bonilla, his last winners, in the prize list.
The decision of the jury, chaired by the general director of the Book, María José Gálvez, has highlighted Of beasts and birds “its great originality, beauty, poetic richness and strength of language. The story told is as fantastic as it is close and recognizable. The work, written in an impeccable style that at times borders on lyricismmanages to immerse the reader in a disturbing, suffocating and dreamlike atmosphere.
Adón herself takes this thread of lyricism to explain her novel: “It is impossible for me to separate my work in poetry from that of narrative. There is a small difference that has to do with the moment, with the process. I can write fiction any day. The same doesn’t happen to me in poetry., appears at very specific moments. But whenever I have explained this novel, I talk about its nudity, which is a value that is often talked about in poetry. And when I explain my poetry I talk about their topicswhich is what novelists usually do.”
What topics? “Flight and fear,” Adon answers. “I, who have written so much about houses and places, see these themes as the foundation of a house. Each book is a new room but it is also a part of a whole.”
Of beasts and birds, Adón’s fourth novel, is the story of Coro, a woman hurt by the loss of her sister in a car accident that she survived. Coro then decides to flee from her grief, or rather, she flees from it without consciously deciding. And, in his escape accidentally ends up in Bethanya kind of utopian community formed exclusively by women who practice an ancestral cult, isolated from the rest of the world and surrounded by a characteristic landscape dominated by vegetation, by a rock that hides the sun and by a lake that delimits their space for coexistence.