In addition to memorializing and honoring Aura Estrada in his novel, Francisco Goldman also established a literary prize in 2008 in her name.
Aura Estrada was a published short story writer in several Mexican and Latin American magazines including Letralia, Letras Libres, and Gatopardo, and, among many other projects, she published book reviews for The Boston Review and Bookforum. In the year before her death, she was at work on a novel. Though she was close to earning her PhD through the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Literature at Columbia University, her dream was to be a fiction writer and, while still at Columbia, she enrolled in an MFA program at Hunter College in New York.
The Aura Estrada Prize is awarded biannually with the intention of honoring aspiring female writers like Aura who are under 35, write in Spanish, and live in either Mexico or the United States. The award includes a stipend (approximately $10,000) and residency at one of several writers' colonies in the United States and Europe.
The Aura Estrada Prize was officially established and announced by Francisco Goldman and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez at the Guadalajara Book Fair on December 1, 2008 and has since received much support from the writing community at large. Authors such as Junot Díaz, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Colum McCann, and many, many others have all contributed to raising money for the prize. To grow the endowment, Goldman holds auctions (selling dinner dates with famous authors, rare books, and manuscript pages), hosts benefits (such as the New York benefit held in September 2008), and accepts financial contributions. To make a donation to the Aura Estrada Prize, a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, click here.
Photo credit: Laura Cobb
This article was originally published in May 2011, and has been updated for the
April 2012 paperback release.
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