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Wednesday, 31 May, 2000, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
Guatemalan author wins top Spanish prize

The Guatemalan author, Augusto Monterroso, has won a prestigious Spanish literary award, the Prince of Asturias prize.

Announcing their decision, the judges praised Mr Monterroso's work for its extraordinary aesthetic and ethical richness, which, they said, has a melancholy sense of humour worthy of Cervantes.

He will receive some forty-six thousand dollars.

Mr Monterroso, who is seventy-nine, is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including " The Black Sheep and Other Fables", which has been translated into English. Previous winners include the Pervuian author Mario Vargas Llosa the Spanish writer Camilo Jose Cela and last year the German author Guenther Grass, who was the first to win for a language other than Spanish.

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