Mexican novelist and short story writer Guadalupe Nettel has been awarded El Grand Balam Literary Prize for her intimate psychological explorations of individuals marginalized from themselves by an often cruel, inexplicable, and wondrous world.
The $150,000 El Grand Balam Prize, distributed over three years by the Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts, recognizes a mid-career writer from Canada, Mexico, or the United States for their extraordinary accomplishment and provides support toward continued professional growth. There is no application for the prize and no announcement of writers under consideration.
Guadalupe Nettel, a citizen of Mexico, is the author of four novels, five collections of short stories, and two books of nonfiction. Her work has been translated into more than seventeen languages. Among her previous awards, Nettel has received the Premio Internacional de Narrativa Breve Ribero del Duero (2013) and the Premio Herralde de Novela (2014). Her most recent novel, La Hija Unica, translated to English by Rosalind Harvey and under the title Still Born, was shortlisted for the 2023 International Booker Prize. Nettel held a Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts Fellowship from 2021 through 2023. She is the current and only the second female director of Revista de la Universidad de Mexico.
Established in 2021, the mission of the Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts is “to create a community of literary artists from across the Americas to foster meaningful connections between people, culture, and the natural world.” The Center on Literary Arts is one of three subsidiary centers housed at the Albert & Elaine Borchard Foundation, a Southern California charitable foundation incorporated in 1978 and with a broad mission “to promote research, education, social justice, and the arts and to improve the human condition.”
The formal presentation of El Grand Balam will be held at a dinner in San Cristόbal de las Casas, Chiapas in January 2024 as a part of the annual Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts Retreat and Encuentro.