Chilean author Isabel Allende Sunday received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize from the hands of Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik at a ceremony held in this Danish city.
Allende was selected to receive the award, which comes with 500,000 Danish kroner ($86,000), "for her
Chilean novelist Isabel Allende (R) receives Denmark's top literary award, the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award, from Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik (L) on September 30, 2012 at a concert hall in Odense, Andersen's birthplace some 150 kms (90 miles) west of the capital Copenhagen. Photo: AFP / Claus Fisker
qualities as a magical narrator and her talent for captivating her public", according to the judging panel.
The author of "The House of the Spirits" expressed her thanks for the honour, which she called one of the most "meaningful" she has received because it bears the name of the celebrated Danish storyteller and is "a tribute to fantasy, to magic".
"Andersen's stories were the first I heard as a little girl. My mother read them to me in Spanish," she said in her acceptance speech.
Those stories "stimulated my curiosity, nourished my fantasy and taught me things about loyalty, love, greatness, the pains and losses of life", she said.
The Chilean writer joins British author J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter saga, as a recipient of this recently-created award, which was established by a private foundation in cooperation with the Odense City Hall.