Venezuelan daily newspaper El Universal carried out a poll of 23 writers, editors, critics, professors, publishers and general bookworms to decide on the top Venezuelan books of 2013. The only rule was that they could not vote for a book in which they were some way involved themselves.
Albinson Linares, Andreína Melo, Andrés Boersner, Antonio López Ortega, Carlos Pacheco, Carmen Verde Arocha, Carolina Lozada, Diego Arroyo Gil, Diómedes Cordero, Freddy Ñáñez, Joaquín Marta Sosa, Luis Barrera Linares, Luis Moreno Villamediana, Luz Marina Rivas, María Alejandra Bello, Marialcira Matute, Melissa Nahmens, Michelle Roche, Nelson Rivera, Rodrigo Blanco Calderón, Roger Michelena, Valmore Muñoz Arteaga and Vicente Lecuna.
The winners, by genre:
Short Stories: La sombra inmóvil by Antonio López Ortega. The book which received most votes of any in the poll, Carlos Pacecho described it as ‘without competition’, and deserving distribution abroad.
Novel: La escribana del viento by Ana Teresa Torres. Editor Andrés Boersner called it Torres’ ‘most important fictional work of the last decade’
Poetry: Annapurna by Igor Barreto. Nelson Rivera, director of Papel literario called it ‘unexpected, distant and close at the same time’.
Essay: Derivas by Alejandro Sebastiani Verlezza. A literary diary full of ‘reflection, observation and intuition’.
Non fiction: Pasaje de ida by Silda Cordoliani. A compilation of testimonies from 15 Venezuelan writers living and working abroad.
Children’s literature: Taquititán de poemas by María Elena Maggi and Ana Carolina Palmero. An anthology of Venezuelan poems for children.