A woman who won a €1 million literary prize has turned out to actually be three men.
The €1m Planeta prize was awarded to a writer named Carmen Mola, a supposed female university professor previously thought to have been writing under a pen name.
Surprisingly, when the main prize at the Planeta awards ceremony was announced, three men stepped up to the podium.
The three men, Jorge Diaz, Agustín Martinez, and Antonio Mercero, had written together under the pseudonym of Carmen Mola, are actually television script writers in their 40s and 50s.
“Carmen Mola is not, like all the lies we’ve been telling, a university professor,” said Díaz on winning the prize. “We are three friends who one day four years ago decided to combine our talent to tell a story.”
According to Martinez, they chose to write under one name because “collective work is not as valued in literature [like it is in] other arts such as painting or music”.
The winning historical thriller, The Beast, is about the murder of children during the Madrid cholera epidemic in 1834.
Amusingly the pen name of Carmen Mola was submitted behind another pen name Sergio López before eventually revealed as Díaz, Martínez and Mercero.
The book is due to be published by Planeta under Carmen Mola’s name next month.