Chico Buarque Wins Camões Prize

The 74-year-old Brazilian singer-songwriter and author was awarded in recognition of his contribution to culture in all the countries where Portuguese is spoken.

Brazilian author and singer-songwriter Chico Buarque has been awarded the 2019 Camões Prize, the most prestigious award in Portuguese literature, for his opus of work.

The 74-year-old was awarded in recognition of his contribution to culture in all the countries where Portuguese is spoken, the organizers announced at a ceremony at Rio de Janeiro’s National Library.

The jury also praised the quality of his work across multiple genres, “the value and reach of a multifaceted work that transcends borders and is a fundamental point of reference in contemporary culture”.

Born in 1944 in Rio, Buarque made his name as a performer of protest songs in the 1960s, when Brazil was ruled by a military dictatorship, exploring the samba and bossa nova genres. He later turned to fiction, and his 2003 novel Budapest won the Jabuti Prize, a prestigious literary award in Brazil.

Founded in 1989 and named after Portuguese poet Luís de Camões, the Camões Prize is awarded annually by Portugal and Brazil to a writer for his or her oeuvre, and carries a €100,000 purse.

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