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Lisbon - Angolan author Luandino Vieira has turned down the most important Portuguese-language literary prize worth €100 000 (about R840 000) citing personal reasons, Portugal's culture ministry said on Wednesday.
Vieira, who spent time in jail for his activism against Lisbon's colonial rule of Angola, was awarded the Camoes Prize, named after Luiz Vaz de Camoes, Portugal's greatest poet, on Friday.
"Stressing his thanks for the distinction, the writer justified the decision not to accept it for 'intimate, personal reasons'," the ministry said in a statement.
Vieira was born in Portugal in 1935 but moved to Angola with his parents just three years later where he lived most of his life.
His novels and short stories examined the oppressiveness of Portuguese rule over the south-west African nation which ended in
The Camoes prize is awarded each year by Portugal's National Library Foundation and Brazil's National Book Department.
Vieira was only the third author from Africa to be awarded the prize, after Mozambique's Jose Craveirinha in 1991 and Angola's Artur Carlos Mauricio Pestana dos Santos, who writes under the name Pepetela, in 1997. - Sapa-AFP