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Spanish Novelist Juan Marsé Wins Top Literary Prize

Spanish novelist Juan Marsé, one of the country's best-known 20th century writers, has won the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary honor, the Cervantes Prize.

Marse, 75, was favored to win the prize, which was created in 1975 to honor a writer's body of work. The award has been likened to the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Marse is best known for his searing portraits of people enduring hardships and suffering in his native Catalonia region under the post-civil war dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. The general ruled from 1939 until his death in 1975.

Many of Marsé's books have been made into movies, including Ultimas Tardes con Teresa (Last Evenings with Teresa). The 1983 film is the story of an ill-fated romance between a rich young woman and a working-class man.

The prize is presented each year by King Juan Carlos in Alcala de Henares, the birthplace of Spain's 16th century literary icon Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.