Honorary Degree Citation
May 21, 2006
Antonio Muñoz Molina
Presenter: Dr. Mercedes Juliá
Antonio Muñoz Molina is one of Spain’s most celebrated contemporary writers. He has written numerous works of fiction and non-fiction which reflect the universality of the human condition. He started his career as a newspaper journalist and later began writing novels, essays and autobiographical prose. In all of his writings he has achieved an unsurpassed ability to explore the human soul through the unforgettable characters he creates.
The author was born in Úbeda, in the province of Jaén, Spain, in 1956 to loving and illiterate parents of very modest means who, like most Spaniards, struggled through the famine of the post-Civil War years. Against all odds, Muñoz Molina´s tenacity and love of literature made him determined to succeed. He studied journalism in Madrid and earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Granada. He gained immediate acclaim with the publication of his first two novels, Beatus Ille in 1986, and El invierno en Lisboa (Winter in Lisbon) in 1987, works characterized by intricate plots in which the writer portrays artistic, social and metaphysical issues. For these, he was awarded the Ícaro prize, the Prize of Criticism and the National Prize for Literature of Spain in 1988. He subsequently won many other prestigious awards for his later novels in Spain and abroad. His novels and articles have been translated into more than fourteen languages.
Muñoz Molina has also written a history of Córdoba, titled Córdoba of the Omeyas. His work as a journalist was recognized in 2003, when he received the González Ruano and Mariano de Cavia journalistic awards. Currently director of the Cervantes Institute in New York City, the author is also at present the youngest member of the Royal Academy of Letters of Spain.
Father President, for his dedication and ability to chronicle universal human concerns through his writings, I am proud to present to you for the degree of Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa, Antonio Muñoz Molina.