Peruvian writer Alfredo Bryce Echenique won Monday the 2012 Guadalajara International Book Fair Prize in Romance Languages, jury spokesman Cãlin-Andrei Mihãilescu, the Canadian writer of Romanian origin, said.

Bryce Echenique, who was born in Lima in 1939, "is one of the fundamental figures of Latin American literature," the note announcing the jury's unanimous choice said.

The author of the 1970 novel "Un Mundo para Julius" (A World for Julius) will receive the award on Nov. 24 at the 26th edition of the book fair, the world's most important literary event in the Spanish language.

"This great observer of the life and literary and political explorations of the Latin Americans of his generation explores such themes as illness, happiness, love and sadness, and moves with equal effectiveness from short stories to novels," the jury said.

The Peruvian writer will therefore headline the next edition of the book fair, which this year will be celebrated from Nov. 24 to Dec. 2 in Guadalajara, the capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco.

Bryce Echenique, also the author of "La Vida Exagerada de Martin Romaña" (The Exaggerated Life of Martin Romaña), "No Me Esperen en Abril" (Don't Expect Me in April) and "El Hombre que Hablaba de Octavia de Cadiz" (The Man Who Spoke of Octavia of Cadiz), told a press conference by telephone that he held in check for three days his craze to call those who had awarded him the prize.

"They told me to be quiet and say nothing, so here I am after keeping quiet for three days. People thought I was being a little odd," the writer said.

In 2011 the Guadalajara International Book Fair Prize went to Colombian writer Fernando Vallejo.

The jury of the 2012 edition included, besides Cãlin-Andrei Mihãilescu, Mexico's Jorge Volpi, the Peruvian Julio Ortega, Argentine journalist Leila Guerriero, Colombian critic Margarita Valencia, the British academic Mark Millington, and Puerto Rican writer Mayra Santos-Febres. EFE