Fugitive writer Joseba Sarrionandia wins literary award

This news story drew our interest: “Fugitive writer wins Basque literary award.” Joseba Sarrionandia is not only a prominent Basque writer, but also a figure convicted of membership in the separatist group ETA. Currently in hiding, Sarrionandia has won the Euskadi Literatura award, but will not be rewarded the prize money unless he turns himself in.

This award has been given annually by the Basque government since 1997: you can view a list of winners here. According to the news report linked above, “The culture department of the Basque government acknowledged Sarrionandia’s talent as a writer, but it said he would have to turn himself in and regularize his legal situation before he could claim the prize.”

We have several items related to Sarrionandia’s works at the University of Illinois. Also of interest are a couple of selections of his poetry available online: Izuen Gordelekuetan Barrena and Gartzelako Poemak. (Google Translate may be of use for these.)

In the Literatures and Languages Library, we also own a number of works on Basque literature and language. Other Basque writers represented in UIUC’s collections include Bernardo Atxaga, Pío Baroja, Gabriel Celaya, Unai Elorriaga, the Basque-American Robert Laxalt, and the Basque-French Marie Darrieussecq.


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