Spain’s richest literary prize has gone to a novel thought to have been written by a woman touted as the country’s answer to Elena Ferrante. She was then revealed to be three male television scriptwriters.
The €1 million Planeta Prize went to a trio who used the pen name Carmen Mola for violent crime thrillers about a female detective who loves grappa, karaoke and sex in SUVs. Agustín Martínez, Jorge Díaz and Antonio Mercero had initially submitted The Beast under the pseudonym Sergio López, which was subsequently revealed to be Mola. As a third act of revelation, the three writers unmasked themselves.
“We were tired of lying. That’s why we thought of coming out of the closet in style,” Díaz told El Mundo.
The literary deception did not delight everybody. Beatriz Gimeno, who represents the left-wing Podemos party on Madrid’s regional assembly, described the authors as scammers.
“This is the worst for me. It wasn’t just a name. They lied by pretending to be a woman, not just a pseudonym,” she wrote on Twitter.
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