The Jabuti Prize is the oldest book prize in Brazil. Jabuti is the Brazilian word for tortoise and the prize was named after the animal to emphasize the qualities of patience and tenacity.
The Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) launched the prizes 1958, with the first winner of the Fiction Prize being a person no-less famous than Jorge Amado, who took home the Jabuti for his novel Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon.
Prêmio Jabuti is more a prize for publishing, than for literature, and awards are given in several dozen categories, ranging from cover design to editorial production.
For the prize’s 53th edition in 2011, the CBL has changed some rules and expanded the number of categories to 29. For example, the prizes will now include a category for the Best Hotel and Tourism Book among those that will take home the trophy, a metallic chelonian.
And while publishers are delighted to win any of the awards, everyone holds their breath to see who will take home the Fiction Book of the Year and the Non-Fiction Book of the Year — the titles that are the “winner of the winners” and chosen among the winners of all the 29 original categories.