The Portugal Telecom Literature Prize [Prêmio Portugal Telecom de Literatura], honors the best novel written in Portuguese and released in Brazil. The winner takes home a generous R$100,000 (US$59,000), the runner-up receives R$35,000 and the third place winner receives R$15,000.
On November 9, Rubens Figueiredo, the 55 year-old Brazilian writer and translator, won the prize for his novel Passageiro do fim do dia. Published by Companhia das Letras, the book tells the story of a young man through his thoughts and memories as he travels home on a city bus at the end of the day.
Shy, but visibly joyful when he accepted the award, Figueiredo now holds two of the most important literary prizes for Portuguese books, having already won the São Paulo Literature Award [Prêmio São Paulo de Literatura] earlier this year.
The second place prize was given to Angolan writer Gonçalo M. Tavares for Uma viagem à India, an epic book written in verse, in which the protagonist travels to the East in search for a spiritual master. Tavares won the Portugal Telecom in 2007 for Jerusalem.
Marina Colasanti, an Italian-Brazilian author, received the third place prize for Minha Guerra alheia, a mixture of journalism and her own memories about the Second World War.