“Torto arado”, by Itamar Vieira Junior, wins the Oceanos Awards 2020 


The novel “Torto arado” (The crooked plow) (Todavia), by Itamar Vieira Junior, was the big winner of the Oceanos Awards 2020. The writer had already won the Jabuti Awards 2020 in the Literary Novel category and the LeYa Book Prize in 2018, on the occasion of the publication of the title for the first time in Portugal.

About the book, Joana Matos Frias, a Portuguese professor, literary critic and member of the judging panel, said: “‘Torto arado’ is a rare case of a captivating novel that is completely local and completely universal at the same time”. 

Second place was “A visão das plantas” (The view of the plants) (Relógio D’Água), by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida, an Angolan writer who lives in Portugal. The title is expected to be released in Brazil this year by publishing house Todavia. Last year, the author won the Oceanos Awards for “Luanda, Lisboa, Paraíso” (Luanda, Lisbon, Paradise).

“Carta à rainha louca” (Letter to the mad queen) (Alfaguara), by Brazilian writer Maria Valéria Rezende, is a fictional story set during the colonial period of Brazil and was third place.

Over 1,872 books published in ten Portuguese-speaking countries were read and evaluated by an Initial Judging Panel composed of 88 professionals, who chose the 54 titles composing the longlist of the Oceanos Awards 2020. Then ten titles were shortlisted by a new judging panel and competed for cash prizes in the amount of BRL 120,000.00, BRL 80,000.00 and BRL 50,000.00, given to first, second and third places, respectively.

The ceremony was live streamed on YouTube. In addition to the three awarded writers, curators Adelaide Monteiro, from Cape Verde, Manuel da Costa Pinto and Selma Caetano, from Brazil, also participated in the event transmission and talked about the literary production in Portuguese language. Click here to watch.