The 2023 Ítalo Calvino Prize was awarded to Carlos Esquivel.

With his novel La Tumba del Erizo (The Hedgehog's Grave), the prominent Las Tunas writer Carlos Esquivel Guerra won the 2023 Italo Calvino Prize, presented on Friday at the national headquarters of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), in Havana, as part of the program that celebrates the centenary of the great Italian author.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- Gianni Morelli (Italy), Alberto Guerra Naranjo, and Aida Bahr (Cuba), the members of the jury, agreed by majority to grant him the award, among 53 works presented, “for the complexity of its storyline, the degree of elaboration of the discourse, and the ambitious literary game that at the beginning seems to overlap, and then supplant the fabled reality in an exploration that manages to unite timelessness with the current context.”

They also said that it is a delirious and analytical proposal, which pays tribute to great figures of universal literature and Literature itself, "as the territory where everything is possible."

Centenary of prominent writer Ítalo Calvino.

Convened for the first time in 1996, this novel contest is promoted by UNEAC and the Italian Recreational and Cultural Association (ARCI), with the support of Unión magazine and the Ítalo Calvino Foundation Group. It rewards the publication of the novel by the Unión publishing house, the payment of four thousand euros, and the copyright corresponding to the edition.

In addition to the obvious one due to the notoriety of the award, several elements make this result emotional and unique in Esquivel Guerra's curriculum since this is a book that he has been writing for more than a decade; he won the award on the occasion of Calvino's centennial, who was born in Cuba in 1923; and although it is little known, the most important novelist in Italy after the Second World War spent a period of his childhood in Las Tunas, specifically, in the town of San Manuel, Puerto Padre, where his parents founded the Experimental Station for the cultivation of sugarcane.

Recognized for his originality, and moving between fantasy, fable, and reflection, the European writer's complete work consists of a dozen novels, another dozen books of short stories, and several volumes of essays, as well as compilations of articles and letters.