Barcelona, España, 1931 - Marrakech, Marruecos , 2017

He started to study Law, but gave it up, travelled, was arrested for political reasons and in 1956 settled in Paris, where he started work as literary adviser to the Gallimard publishing house. Between 1969 and 1975 he taught literature in universities in California, Boston and New York; he continued to lecture throughout his life. He has created an extensive and varied body of work, including essays and fiction. From 1963 until after Franco's death, his work was banned in Spain by the regime's censorship. Genres in which he works include reporting, travel books and memoires. He currently has homes in Marrakesh, Paris, the USA and Spain. He has received several international awards, most notably the Premio de Ensayo y Poesía Octavio Paz (2002) and the Premio Juan Rulfo (2004). In 2007, the library of the Cervantes Institute in Tangiers was named after him. He was awarded the Premio Cervantes in 2014.

Bibliography

Short stories and novellas

Novel

In Exiled from Almost Everywhere, Juan Goytisolo’s perverse mutant protagonist— the Parisian “Monster of Le Sentier”— is blown up by an extremist bomber and finds himself in the cyberspace of the Thereafter with an infinite collection of computer monitors. His curiosity piqued, he uses the screens at hand to explore the multiple ways war and terrorism are hyped in the Hereafter of his old life where he once happily cruised bathrooms and accosted children. Ricocheting from life to death and back again, meeting various colorful demagogues along the way—the imam “Alice,” a pedophile Monsignor, and a Rastafarian rabbi—our “Monster” revisits seedy democracies that are a welter of shopping-cities and righteous violence voted in by an eternally duped citizenry and defended by the infamous erogenous bomb. At once fantastical and cruelly real, Exiled from Almost Everywhere hurtles the reader through our troubled times in a Swiftian series of grisly cartoon screenshots.

In this novel, which Juan Goytlsolo said would be his last, a melancholy, angry old man reviews the precious moments of his life amid the disasters of contemporary history. Years of love end with the death of his wife: their flat, furniture and CDs go, even memories fade. He remembers tender moments with his mother, who was killed in a bomb-blast unleashed by Fascists on Barcelona, the town he was born in. Together they would look at the stars and identify the brightest constellations. For the narrator, the ideal writer is Tolstoy, an enlightened artistocrat who wished to free his serfs and bring up his children with progressive, humanist principles. Tolstoy's characters embody dreams of a more intense, varied life: through them, the narrator discovers that freedom only exists in books. Like the books of W.G.Sebald and Italo Calvino, Blind Rider is a fictional memoir that spans a history of the last fifty years.

In A Cock-Eyed Comedy Father Trennes is like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a spirit of the age moving through several centuries of Spain’s history. His most recent incarnation is as an Opus Dei—the conservative right wing Catholic organization—religious leader in present-day Spain, whose conformity Goytisolo delightfully savages.

A cast of real people and invented characters, including the philosopher Roland Barthes. Jean Genet, and the Argentine writer Manuel Puig, are mixed up in a literary and historical melting pot. A Cock-Eyed Comedy is a transgressive dark comedy with a significant message about religion and sexuality. 

"Goytisolo delivers. While he's busy poking fun at nearly all of us reading his novel, he's also pulling back the veils of religion, politics, sex and gender we all enjoy wearing." The San Francisco Chronicle

"Spanish literary trickster Goytisolo exhibits fine satirical form in this bawdy, fictional tale of a Catholic cleric's sexual wanderings across history and borders. . . . This certainly ranks among the acclaimed Spaniard's most overtly lusty gay-themed fables, and Bush's playfully colloquial translation adds plenty of zest." Publishers Weekly

Twenty-eight storytellers-one for each letter in the Arabic alphabet-meet in a garden to tell the story of a poet, Eusebio, arrested in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. Eusebio, a friend of García Lorca and his circle, had escaped assassination and fled to North Africa.

"This work deserves the highest recognition . . . no-one can deny Juan Goytisolo is the main Spanish novelist on active service." Carlos Fuentes

"A beautifully written metaphor for what it means to seek out the truth in a world often dominated by lies . . . this author, now 70 years of age, is one of the most brilliant of living writers." The Los Angeles Times

 

 

A traveler looks out his hotel window on a war-torn city. A mortar explodes in his room and, when the police arrive, the corpse has disappeared and only a notebook of apocryphal writings and poems is found. These enigmas lead into a labyrinth, where blind and barbarous forces lay siege to individual lives and diverse cultures.

"State of Siege is a novel of pure fiction, but infinitely more powerful than all the big speeches about Bosnia." Le Nouvel Observateur

"A passionate dialogue with the reader, a reflection on privacy and commitment [engagement], with the steady vigilant presence of a great literary voice." Le Monde

"The reader is thrown into the unreality of a besieged city, as if a firm hand had rudely pushed him out of the tank that brought him from the airport." L'Express

"For the Spaniard Juan Goytisolo, writing is a dangerous adventure." Lire

"Dreams, reminiscences of the war in Spain, thoughts on the novel, borrowings from mystery and detective fiction, references to ancient cultures and Arabic culture, numerous allusions to the narrative structure of Don Quixote-these make up the form of this novel that, as the author says in an ironic and provocative way, isn't written 'according to the rules.'" Fayard Presse

Surreal fiction from Juan Goytisolo, one of the Spanish greatest living writers. A resurrected Karl and Jenny Marx sitting on their sofa in Hampstead watching a television documentary about the landing of Albanian refugees on a private Italian beach, flourishing photocopies of dollar bills in search of paradise Dallas. Find out how Karl reacts to the demise of the systems Josef Visionariovitch and Co. built on his word! Read all about the family life of the Marxes, moving upmarket from Dean Street to Highgate and beyond, yet never free of the hock shop. Marx visits scenes of former triumphs in Moscow, where MacLenin T-shirts and harmburger freedom are all the rage, and returns to a Hampstead housewarming reception and ball filmed by the cameras for a Merchant-Ivoryish Red Baroness-which subsequently becomes the subject of a Saturday-night talk show featuring a feminist sexologist from UCLA, an anarchist from the Spanish Civil Bar, Bakunin . . . But the narrator's publisher, the urbane pipe-smoking Mr. Faulkner, wants a best-selling novel, a proper story with real facts and heart-rending descriptions of the Marx menage. Some hope!

Quarantine recounts the forty days in which, according to Islamic tradition, the soul wanders between death and eternity, still in possession of a tenuous, dreamlike body. After the unexpected death of a friend, the narrator―a writer like Goytisolo―follows her in his imagination into this otherworld where all kinds of implausible (or are they?) things occur.

Meanwhile, television and radio report the 40-day war in the Persian Gulf, and images of war’s destruction mingle with the narrator’s vivid imagination of the torments of the underworld. Simultaneously, the narrator is writing the novel we are reading, for writing itself is a kind of quarantine where the writer withdraws from the world to wander in the otherworld of the imagination.

Quarantine is thus both an exploration of the human condition and an investigation of the writing process. It celebrates friendship and denounces war with equal force, and despite the grim themes is filled with humor, shocking surprises, playful language, and love.

Weaving together elements of philosophy, history and the terror of the Plague, this novel by the Spanish author Juan Goytisolo was inspired by the story of St John of the Cross.

In Makbara, Juan Goytisolo –widely considered one of the Spain's greatest living writers– again dazzles the reader with his energetic, stylistic prose, which he himself compares to a snake: cunning, sly, sinuous. But the themes in Makbara are perhaps more universal than in his earlier works. Makbara is full of its own kind of warmth, humor, and love. After all, 'makbara' is an Arab word referring to the spot in North African cemeteries where young couples meet for romantic encounters. Sex, for Goytisolo, is clearly the greatest cosmic joke, the great leveller. "Sex," he says, "is above all freedom."

 

 

 

The text focuses on Goytisolo's surreal exploration and rejection of his own roots, Catholic Spain's repression of Muslims, Jews and gays, his ancestors' exploitation of Cuban slaves and his own forging of a language at once poetic, politic and ironic that celebrates the erotic act of writing and and the anarchic joy of being the ultimate outsider. In Juan the Landless, Juan Goytisolo defiantly re-invents tradition and the world as a man without a home, without a country, in praise of pariahs.

Exiled in Tangiers, cut off from home and country, the narrator of Count Julian rants against the homeland he was forced to leave: Spain. The second novel in Juan Goytisolo's trilogy (including Marks of Identity and Juan the Landless), this story of an exiled Spaniard confronts all of Goytisolos' own worst fears about fascist Spain. The narrator identifies himself with the real Count Julian, the Great Traitor who allegedly opened the gates of Spain to an invasion of Moors and the consequent eight hundred years of Islamic Influence. For the narrator, nothing short of total destruction of Spain and all things Spanish will be an acceptable punishment for his exile.

"Undoubtedly the greatest living Spanish novelist." Carlos Fuentes

"It is natural that Goytisolo should immediately bring Joyce, Malcolm Lowry, Beckett, and even Nabokov to mind." V.S. Pritchett

"Juan Goytisolo is the best living Spanish novelist." Times Literary Supplement

"An original and significant force in contemporary literature." Newsday

An exile returns to Spain from France to find that he is repelled by the fascism of Franco's Spain and drawn to the world of Muslim culture. In this novel, Juan Goytisolo, one of Spain's most celebrated novelists, speaks for a generation of Spaniards who were small children during the Spanish Civil War, grew up under a stifling dictatorship, and, in many cases, emigrated in desperation from their dying country. Upon his return, the narrator confronts the most controversial political, religious, social, and sexual issues of our time with ferocious energy and elegant prose. Torn between the Islamic and European worlds around him, he finds both ultimately unsatisfactory. In the end, only displacement survives.

Colección de pequeñas historias, casi inconexas, que tienen como protagonistas a la masa trabajadora que vive en el mundo infrahumano de los suburbios. Antonio, personaje central, es reclutado por la banda del Metralla y vive con una señora que ha perdido a su hijo. Giner aún aspira a la unión proletaria. Fuensanta y Saturnino adulan al cura para obtener un piso…

The Countryside of Nijar, written to evade Franco's censors, relates a three-day trip through this region in painfully objective language that artfully evades the implied political conclusion. La Chanca makes no such accommodation. Focused on the slum of the same name, this narrative harshly explores a real-life hell. Goytisolo's candid observation and vivid style make both texts exemplars of social realism, placing them among his strongest work.

Short stories and novellas

Conjunto de relatos que muestra, a través de un sutil contrapunto, la distancia definitiva que Goytisolo establece con las formas emblemáticas de la burguesía: la abulia y el absentismo.

Non-fiction

In Lawless Beauty, Juan Goytisolo offers a series of enlightening essays on works and authors comprising what he calls the leafy tree of literature. Schmidt, Broch, Bulgákov, Gógol, Biely and Diderot are some of the authors that Juan Goytisolo rediscovers in this book. "Every time we reread a book, as we ascend to the zenith of life and later descend from it, we discover what we were unable to see in our previous reading. If the time elapsed is half a century, the difference between what we've read and reread is proportionally greater. What the book once said to the young man I was is of no interest to the seasoned old reader. Our self has changed, which is why we are reading a new book."

Los diferentes ensayos que componen este libro, escritos a lo largo de varios años, dan testimonio de la amistad con Jean Genet y lo dotan de una coherencia inusitada. Completa el volumen un valioso documento inédito: un conjunto de cartas de Genet a Goytisolo, escritas entre 1958 y 1974.

Incluye algunos de los ensayos y artículos de estos últimos años con “el afán de poner en tela de juicio las verdades establecidas de una vez para siempre en el ámbito de la historia y la literatura”.

Casi setenta y cinco años después de su muerte, Manuel Azaña, el último presidente de la Segunda República española, sigue en una especie de limbo. Su figura como político y estadista ha merecido ya estudios objetivos y ecuánimes; por el contrario, su talla como escritor sigue todavía por medir, por mucho que separar al Azaña político del escritor sea difícil y tal vez imposible.

Aborda personajes y temas anticonformistas: espíritus mordaces e innovadores como el Arcipreste de Hita y Cervantes, el desprecio al fanatismo, la mirada despiadada sobre los nacionalismos, la literatura oral de las plazas marroquíes y el lenguaje subversivo que evoca el humor negro de Quevedo arremetiendo contra Góngora.

Hay otro modo de pensar España, de interpretar su realidad, de ser justos con la pluralidad de sus raíces y con la diversidad de sus componentes. ¿Es preciso estar siempre de acuerdo con la interpretación de Juan Goytisolo? Es preciso, ante todo, saber oír, porque de lo que trata España y sus ejidos es de una posibilidad -de una necesidad- que a todos nos afecta: la posibilidad -la necesidad- de una España moderna, autocrítica, lúcida.

Los artículos y ensayos recopilados en este volumen abarcan un cuarto de siglo (1975-2000) y se centran en el análisis de tópicos muy diferentes. Estructurado en seis partes bien diferenciadas, el autor escribe sobre la muerte de Franco, el caso Juan Guerra, las nacionalidades históricas, la llegada del PSOE al poder, el referéndum sobre la OTAN, la misoginia y la homofobia en la sociedad española, pero también reflexiona sobre las conflictivas relaciones entre el Islam y Occidente, sobre la guerra del Golfo…

En coautoría con Sami Nair, repasan las características y problemas que acarrean los procesos migratorios y de las condiciones de vida de los emigrantes.

Landscapes of War: From Sarajevo to Chechnya is an incisive examination of the tensions that exist between the West and Islamic societies of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. These essays, originating in Goytisolo's travels in the late 1990s, provide rich historical analysis and moving first-person reportage of life in four explosive war-zones: Sarajevo, Algeria, the West Bank and Gaza, and Chechnya. From the 17th century to the Gulf War, the West has regarded Islam as the enemy on the doorstep, and this book elucidates how relations between Islam and the West continue to be shaped in a climate of ideological, political, and cultural confrontation.

Goytisolo examines the fratricidal frenzy in Algeria and the war waged by French police against North African migrants in France, and he describes a besieged Sarajevo transformed into a concentration camp surrounded by barbed wire. He contemplates the despair and poverty of Palestinian youth living in the Occupied Territories and details the brutality of the Russian war in the Caucasus. Whether reporting on the fate of the Bosnians after the break up of the former Yugoslavia or analyzing the growing appeal of fundamentalisms –Islamic, Jewish, and Russian Orthodox– Goytisolo displays the same blend of intelligence, vision, and warm fellow-feeling that has made him one the most imposing literary figures of our time.

 

Many of these succinct and eloquent essays first appeared in Spain's leading newspaper El País, and English translations were published in the Times Literary Supplement (London).

En su intento de traer a la memoria el pasado árabe español -vivido como un territorio añorado de tolerancia y libertad- , el autor ha trazado una panorámica renovadora sobre la historia de nuestras letras (selección y prólogo de José Miranda).

Fruto de su estancia en Chechenia, en 1996, el autor fija un testimonio de primera mano acerca del conflicto armado desarrollado en aquellas tierras.

Homenaje de Juan Goytisolo a su esposa, Monique Lange. Una obra que la revela a través de sus propios comentarios, de su modo de actuar, de sus llamadas telefónicas y también, de sus libros, sobre todo Las casetas de baño y Los cuadernos rotos. Se trata de un volumen singular, muy diferente del resto de los títulos del gran intelectual español. En Ella, Monique Lange desempeña el papel esencial que representó en la existencia del autor: la amiga permanente. La vida de Goytisolo estuvo muy unida a la de Monique y su desaparición fue un golpe irreparable.

"En Palestina, la víctima del verdugo es árabe y musulmana aunque cambie la naturaleza religiosa del verdugo, que en este escenario no es el caballero eslavo-ortodoxo, sino el tsahal israelí". Víctor Morales sobre la obra de Goytisolo en El Cultural, noviembre 2001.

Analiza en su sustancia la obra de varios autores: sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Carlos Fuentes, Manuel Puig, Severo Sarduy. La conclusión, por caminos diversos, es siempre la misma: la defensa de los valores individuales y de las minorías, de todo lo mezclado, mestizo o heterogéneo, aunque sólo sea para hacer frente a la insidiosa “normalización” que nos imponen los medios de comunicación, la omnipresente economía de mercado y los nacionalismos.

Recorrido por un país batido por la guerra. La situación referida es la que se vivía en Argelia en los años 90, cuando se encontraba atrapada entre al Grupo Islámico Armado (GIA), autor de la mayoría de los asesinatos de extranjeros, y los escuadrones de la muerte, dependientes del régimen, responsables de miles de muertos.

Un testimonio estremecedor sobre la devastación de la capital de Bosnia-Herzegovina por parte de las fuerzas comandadas por Radovan Karadzic, presidente de Serbia, quien por esos hechos pasaría a la historia con el mote de “carnicero de Sarajevo”.

No European writer knows the Islamic shores of the Mediterranean as intimately as Juan Goytisolo, who has lived and worked amongst Muslims for 30 years. In this series of essays Goytisolo celebrates a world where ritual matters and tradition is alive - where saints live, story-tellers weave their enchantments nightly and where honour and dignity preserve the importance of the individual. Like a window onto a parallel universe, Cinema Eden is a journey in itself, and a thought-provoking reflection on our own society.

Juan Goytisolo abre en canal la sociedad del Estambul otomano, apegada tenazmente a las tradiciones, igualitaria y móvil, y nos da a conocer la forma de vivir y de morir de las gentes que la conformaron, desde el hammam hasta el mazarlik, pasando por el Gran Bazar y los caravasares.

Ni más ni menos que una nueva manera de enfrentarse a los entresijos de la cultura hispánica desde la Edad Media hasta nuestros días.

La obra es el puente que deberíamos tender entre Occidente e Islam. Y el conjunto es un libro de cuya lectura salimos transformados, con una nueva visión, más rica, creativa y generosa de nuestra realidad.

Recoge ensayos y artículos de Juan Goytisolo posteriores a la muerte de Franco y publicados en diferentes revistas y periódicos. Polémicos e inconformistas, abordan el racismo, el tercermundismo, la marginación, el monolitismo ideológico…

Artículos del período 1970-1976 donde Juan Goytisolo disiente tanto del sistema social y cultural heredado como de todo sistema para, finalmente, disentir de sí mismo. Para hacerlo, elige el lugar del marginal, planteando una serie de identificaciones históricas: Fernando de Rojas, Francisco Delicado, Estebanillo González, Blanco White. La mejor misión del escritor es desarrollar al máximo sus contradicciones. Por eso, en estos textos está el mejor Goytisolo, el que suele evadirse de la autorrejezentismo megalómano o la retórica experimentalista, que son sus tentaciones y las de tantos escritores en España y fuera.

Escritor, pensador y periodista, Blanco White fue un personaje controvertido cuyas críticas a la política española tras la Guerra de la Independencia y su posicionamiento al lado de los revolucionarios hispanoamericanos le valieron el destierro a Inglaterra, de donde no regresaría jamás. En este volumen se rescatan, además, algunos de los textos, tremendamente actuales, publicados en El Español, el periódico que White dirigía desde Inglaterra y que fue prohibido en España.

Analiza de manera descarnada la historia de España, rescatando el estilo de autores ingleses. Parte de la idea de la existencia de un mito que nace con España, mito condenable que la aleja del resto del mundo.

Reúne un grupo de ensayos excepcionalmente polémico que ilustra la evolución ideológica de Juan Goytisolo e ilumina las raíces de la última etapa de su obra. Por su rigor e independencia de criterio, se inscriben en la gran tradición de las críticas a la sociedad española y a la condición del escritor en ella que, desde los ensayos de Larra a los de Cernuda, ha configurado los análisis más críticos y perspicaces sobre la identidad peninsular.    

Incluye un primer capítulo en el que Goytisolo narra su relación personal y familiar con Cuba. En él, además de hablar del bisabuelo y sus esclavos, encontramos una figura habitual en la literatura de viaje: el del niño mirando el mapa del lugar adonde viajará cuando sea adulto. Pero su configuración no es geográfica o romántica, ni paródica, sino política.

The Countryside of Nijar, written to evade Franco's censors, relates a three-day trip through this region in painfully objective language that artfully evades the implied political conclusion. La Chanca makes no such accommodation. Focused on the slum of the same name, this narrative harshly explores a real-life hell. Goytisolo's candid observation and vivid style make both texts exemplars of social realism, placing them among his strongest work.

Biography / Memoirs

Forbidden Territory and Realms of Strife: The Memoirs of Juan Goytisolo, Goytisolo's masterful two-volume autobiography first published in the mid-1980s, broke new ground in Spanish letters with its introspective sexual and emotional honesty. It charts the writer’s unique journey from a Barcelona childhood violently disrupted by the Spanish civil war to student rebellion against the Francoist dictatorship and exile as a ‘self-banished Spaniard’ to Paris in 1956. In Paris, Goytisolo fell in love with Monique Lange, befriended Jean Genet, and discovered his own homosexuality as he supported the struggles for Algerian independence. His passionate, iconoclastic pen spares no one, least of all himself, in this striking portrayal of politics and sexuality in twentieth-century France and Spain.

Forbidden Territory and Realms of Strife: The Memoirs of Juan Goytisolo, Goytisolo's masterful two-volume autobiography first published in the mid-1980s, broke new ground in Spanish letters with its introspective sexual and emotional honesty. It charts the writer’s unique journey from a Barcelona childhood violently disrupted by the Spanish civil war to student rebellion against the Francoist dictatorship and exile as a ‘self-banished Spaniard’ to Paris in 1956. In Paris, Goytisolo fell in love with Monique Lange, befriended Jean Genet, and discovered his own homosexuality as he supported the struggles for Algerian independence. His passionate, iconoclastic pen spares no one, least of all himself, in this striking portrayal of politics and sexuality in twentieth-century France and Spain.

Honest passion marks Goytisolo's compelling account of his tripartite evolution as person, nationalist, and writer through Spain's years of revolution and as Franco's thrall. Influenced by his mother's secret literary life and motivated by an "instinct.

Forbidden Territory and Realms of Strife: The Memoirs of Juan Goytisolo, Goytisolo's masterful two-volume autobiography first published in the mid-1980s, broke new ground in Spanish letters with its introspective sexual and emotional honesty. It charts the writer’s unique journey from a Barcelona childhood violently disrupted by the Spanish civil war to student rebellion against the Francoist dictatorship and exile as a ‘self-banished Spaniard’ to Paris in 1956. In Paris, Goytisolo fell in love with Monique Lange, befriended Jean Genet, and discovered his own homosexuality as he supported the struggles for Algerian independence. His passionate, iconoclastic pen spares no one, least of all himself, in this striking portrayal of politics and sexuality in twentieth-century France and Spain.

Anthology / Selection

Esta selección de textos se nutre de algunos de los principales ensayos sobre la etapa de la historia literaria española que desembocará en El Quijote.

Includes Señas de identidad (Marks of Identity), Don Julián (Count Julian) and Juan sin tierra (Juan The Landless).

Reúne textos polémicos y rebeldes sobre diferentes temas de la cultura, la historia y la literatura: desde la revaloración disidente del legado andalusí hasta el rescate fundacional de escritores y obras marginales en el canon literario hispánico.

Includes the works: Paisajes después de la batalla (Landscapes After the Battle), La cuarentena (Quarantine) y El sitio de los sitios (State of Siege).

Incluye El furgón de cola, Crónicas sarracinas y Contracorrientes.

Edición dirigida por Antonio Munn

  • Obras completas (vol. I). Novelas y Ensayo (1954-1959). Círculo de Lectores/Galaxia Gutenberg, 2005.
  • Obras completas (vol. II). Narrativa y relatos de viaje (1959-1965).Círculo de Lectores/Galaxia Gutenberg, 2006.
  • 2006 Obras completas (vol. III). Novelas (1966 - 1982). Círculo de Lectores/Galaxia Gutenberg, 2006.
  • Obras completas (vol. IV). Novelas (1988 - 2003).Círculo de Lectores/Galaxia Gutenberg, 2007.
  • Obras completas (vol. V). Autobiografía y El mundo islámico. Círculo de Lectores/Galaxia Gutenberg, 2008.
  • Obras completas (vol. VI). Ensayos literarios (1967-1999). Círculo de Lectores/Galaxia Gutenberg, 2009.
  • Obras completas (vol. VII). Memorialística y viajes. Círculo de Lectores/Galaxia Gutenberg,2011.
  • Obras completas (vol. VIII). Guerra, periodismo y literatura. Círculo de Lectores/Galaxia Gutenberg, 2011.

Antología de relatos adaptados en la serie de televisión Alqibla, cuya realización cubrió un período comprendido entre final de la década de 1980 y principio de la de 1990. El propósito estaba bien claro: luchar contra el mito, contra la ingente masa de leyendas-estereotipo que envuelven el islam y su cultura, petrificándolos, enturbiándolos y falseándolos.

Prizes

  • 1985 - Europalia Prize from the European Community for his body of work
  • 1993 - Nelly-Sachs Prize from the city of Dortmund for his dedication to dialogue between cultures
  • 1994 - Premio Mediterráneo for Cuaderno de Sarajevo
  • 1995 - Rachid Mimumi Prize of Paris for Tolerance and Freedom
  • 1997 - Gran Premio Proartes de Narrativa Iberoamericana
  • 2002 - Premio Octavio Paz de Poesía y Ensayo
  • 2004 - Premio de Literatura Latinoamericana Juan Rulfo
  • 2008 - Premio Nacional de las Letras Españolas for his literary body of work
  • 2009 - Premio de las Artes y las Culturas de la Fundación Tres Culturas de Sevilla in recognition of his literary works
  • 2010 - Premio Don Quijote de la Mancha for his body of work
  • 2011 - Mahmoud Darwish Award
  • 2012 - Premio Planeta Casa América for his relationship with Marrakesh
  • 2012 - Premio Cultura, Planeta y Océanos Sostenible from the Fundación Baile de Civilizaciones (Albacete) for his struggle for understanding between civilisations and his ongoing concern about environmental deterioration worldwide
  • 2012 - Premio Formentor de las Letras
  • 2014 - Premio Cervantes