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Fred Vargas

Princess of Asturias Award for Literature 2018

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2018 Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, composed of Xosé Ballesteros Rey, Blanca Berasátegui, Luis Alberto de Cuenca, Lola Larumbe Doral, Antonio Lucas, Ángeles Mora, Leonardo Padura, Laura Revuelta Sanjurjo, Carmen Riera, Fernando Rodríguez Lafuente, Ana Santos, Sergio Vila-Sanjuán, Juan Villoro, chaired by Darío Villanueva Prieto and with José Luis García Delgado acting as secretary, has decided to confer the 2018 Princess of Asturias Award for Literature on French writer Fred Vargas (Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau). Trained as an archaezoologist, she envisages society as a mysterious and complex ecosystem. What stands out in her narrative work are the originality of her plots, the irony with which she describes the characters, the depth of her cultural insights and her overflowing imagination, which opens up unprecedented literary horizons to readers.

Her writing combines intrigue, action and reflection at a pace that recalls the characteristic musicality of fine French prose. In each of her novels, history emerges as a metaphor of an unsettling present. The vicissitudes of time and the exposure of evil are combined in a solid literary architecture, set against a disquieting backdrop that, for the reader’s enjoyment, is always solved as a logical challenge. For all this, Fred Vargas embodies the renewal of a genre, the thriller, to which she has brilliantly contributed original pieces, atmospheres and settings that make up an oeuvre of universal scope.

Oviedo, 24th May 2018

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