MEXICO CITY – Mexican novelist and poet Daniel Sada died following a lengthy illness and just hours after being awarded his country’s 2011 National Arts and Sciences Prize, cultural officials said Saturday. He was 58.
Sada, a native of the northwestern state of Baja California, and Mexican novelist Jose Agustin were chosen Friday as co-winners of that prestigious award in the Literature and Linguistics category, the Public Education Secretariat announced Friday.
Hours later, the writer lost his years-long struggle against kidney disease.
In a statement, the head of Mexico’s National Fine Arts Institute, Teresa Vicencio, expressed her condolences to the family and friends of Sada, whom she described as one of the most respected authors of his generation.
“His writing was notable for his descriptions of the daily life that surrounded him and of Mexican popular culture,” she said of the author of the 1985 short-story collection “Juguete de nadie y otras historias” (No One’s Toy and Other Stories) and the 2008 novel “Casi nunca” (Almost Never), winner of the prestigious Herralde prize.
Sada’s writing is characterized by its “potent rhythm” and “syntactic games” and has been described as “baroque and tragicomic,” the statement read.
Other awards he received include the Xavier Villaurrutia prize in 1992 and the Jose Fuentes Mares National Literature Prize in 1999.
Two of Sada’s novels – “Una de dos” (One of Two) and “Luces artificiales” (Artificial Lights) – were adapted for the big screen by Mexican filmmaker Marcel Sisniega.