Xesús Fraga received the National Narrative Prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture on Thursday morning. The writer (London, 50 years) has been awarded for the work Virtues (e mysteries) (Publishing Galaxy) that tells the history of his family marked by migration. The also journalist, his texts can be read in La Voz de Galicia from 1996, he was born in London, the city where his migrant parents who followed in their grandmother’s footsteps. The jury has selected this work “for showing with a very careful prose, in substance and in form, the story of two generations of brave women from a family in hostile times, and to delve into a story about Galician emigration in England and America”.
Grandson of a failed marriage of vocational and accidental emigrants, he reconstructs their hazardous lives and coexistence with loneliness, uprooting and the unease of unanswered questions. A journey through the second half of the 20th century that goes from Galician rural life to the great American megalopolises. “Emigration is essential in the book: he lost my grandfather, while he allowed his wife to raise the family. It made it easier for my mother to fulfill her vocation for teaching and it placed me in a no-man’s-land between various cultures. In Galicia there are hardly any families that have not lived, in a more direct or indirect way, the migratory experience ”, he told in an interview in La Voz de Galicia on the occasion of the publication from the book that the writer himself translated from Galician into Spanish.
Inspired by the Goodbye rivers, goodbye fontes by Rosalía de Castro and in the Family Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg, Virtues (and mysteries) , awarded the White Love Novel Prize 2019, combines various genres such as the novel, the chronicle or the newspaper without giving up humor. Fraga has translated into Galician and Spanish books by Julian Barnes, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, Anne Fine, Roald Dahl, Edith Nesbit, Sylvia Plath and Robert Macfarlane, among others.
The jury, chaired by María José Gálvez Salvador, general director of the Book and Promotion of Reading, also points out that “with this novel we contemplate immigration, with its light and dark, from its two shores, that of those who leave and that of from those who stay and also from the point of view of those who live between two worlds ”. The prize is endowed with 20. 000 euros.