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Female writer awarded prestigious literary prize turns out to be three men

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 10/18/2021 Asher Notheis
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It's one of the biggest literary plot twists of the year.

During the Planeta awards in Spain, author Carmen Mola was announced as the winner of the 1 million euro award. But audience members, including Spain's King Felipe VI, were shocked to see three men, Agustin Martinez, Jorge Diaz, and Antonio Mercero, accept the award and reveal that Mola is a collective, gender-swapped pseudonym, according to the Guardian.


“We didn’t hide behind a woman. We hid behind a name,” Mercero said. “I don’t know if a female pseudonym would sell more than a male one. I don’t have the faintest idea, but I doubt it.”

Prior to writing under the guise of Mola, Martinez, Diaz, and Mercero had published novels and worked as scriptwriters under their real names. As they began working together, they chose the persona of Carmen Mola, which roughly translates as “Carmen’s cool,” and created the idea of a woman who works as a college professor in the morning but a crime writer in the evening, the outlet reported.


Mola earned the Planeta with a historical thriller set in 1834 during a cholera epidemic. The story follows a serial killer being hunted down simultaneously by a journalist, a police officer, and a young woman. The most well-known books written by Mola follow the adventures of detective Elena Blanco, a “peculiar and solitary woman, who loves grappa, karaoke, classic cars and sex in SUVs”, according to the outlet.


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Tags: News, Writing, Gender, Europe, Spain

Original Author: Asher Notheis

Original Location: Female writer awarded prestigious literary prize turns out to be three men


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