Andres Montero‘s ode to storytelling is the winner of the prestigious ‘Elena Poniatowska – City of Mexico’ Award.

Won in recent years by names such as Emiliano Monge, Alvaro Enrigue and Julián Herbert, this year jury composed by writers Elmer Mendoza (Mexico), Lina Meruane (Chile) and Guadalupe Nettel (Mexico) decided unanimously to award the novel Tony Ninguno by the Chilean writer Andrés Montero.

The jury highlighted a storyline that within the narrative of a poor provincial circus, brings up that fabulous book that is The Thousand and One Nights.

The novel tells the story of a young trapeze artist who, after a fall, reads that book whose stories she then memorizes. Javiera decides to become a modern Scheherazade by, each night, retelling one of the stories from the book. In doing so she will change the fortunes of her family circus but also attract the curse the book carries. In the middle of extreme poverty, ingenious stratagems in search for paying public and the abuse she suffers, it is literature that will rescue her from the daily cruelty around her.

The jury distinguished the originality of the plot that maintains the suspense while balancing the characters between life and death. They also underlined the exceptionality and effectiveness of its style.

TONY NINGUNO is published by La Pollera in Santiago.