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Spanish writer Javier Moro speaks after receiving on October 15, 2011 in Barcelona the 2011 Premio Planeta literature award for his book "El imperio eres tœ". Some 484 novels vied for the prestigeous Spanish literary award whose top prize awards 601,000 euros. - AFP Photo

BARCELONA: Spanish writer Javier Moro has received this year's Premio Planeta award, the most prestigious prize for novels in Spanish.

Moro, 57, scooped the prize Saturday for “El imperio eres tu” (The Empire, it's you), which is based on the life of Brazil's first Emperor Dom Pedro I (1798-1834), who backed the nationalist cause against imperial power Portugal.

The Madrid-born Moro, the nephew and collaborator of French writer Dominique Lapierre, said he wanted to tell the story of “one of the most remarkable monarchs”.

The former freelance television and print journalist, who has a French mother, has drawn inspiration from his travels in Asia and Latin America for this book and other works.

A total of 484 novels were in the running for the 60th Premio Planeta award, which comes with a 600,000-euro ($830,000) prize.

The prize was handed out at a gala dinner attended by Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia.