Cook Music Library Digital Exhibitions

Miguel Delibes (Spain, 1920-2010)

Photo: Miguel Delibes, 1998

Miguel Delibes (1998) edited.


Novelist, essayist, and journalist.

Miguel Delibes is one of the most read Spanish writers of the twentieth century. Many of his works have been adapted for both screen and stage and translated into many foreign languages. Both as a literary author and as a journalist, his voice condemned unjust government policies and advocated for human rights.

Born in Valladolid, Spain, Delibes grew up in a conservative cultural environment. Spending summers at his grandmother’s village near Santander nurtured an affection for the countryside. The depiction of rural life is a main theme in his writings.

During the 1940s, Delibes held a position as a professor in the University of Valladolid business school and completed a law degree. In 1944, he started working as a cartoonist for the El Norte de Castilla, a regional newspaper, becoming subdirector in 1952. He experienced literary success very early. His first novel, La sombra del ciprés es alargada (1948; “Long is the Cypress’s Shadow”) won the Nadal Prize, a prestigious national literary prize. His works, as well as his activity as a journalist, were overtly against Francisco Franco’s policies in education, agriculture, immigration. Due to his opposition to the regime, in 1963, he was forced to resign from his leadership position in the El Norte de Castilla. While dealing with censorship, Delibes received the Critics’ Prize for his 1962 novel Las ratas (Smoke on the Ground, 1973). In his literature, Delibes made pointed critiques of rural life in post-Civil War Spain.

Miguel Delibes was inducted into the Royal Spanish Academy in 1975. He received the Príncipe de Asturias Prize in 1982, and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the highest honor for literature in Spanish, in 1994.



Miguel Delibes in Europeana

Miguel Delibes in Gredos – Repositorio documental de la Universidad de Salamanca


Film, TV, and Radio adaptations

Film adaptations based on Miguel Delibes’ work - Fundación Miguel Delibes

El camino (1978) - RTVE Radio y Televisión Española

Miguel Delibes' Acceptance Speech of Cervantes Award (1994) - Premio Cervantes en el Archivo de RTVE. [Access full text of Miguel Delibes' speech]

Siete obras de Delibes en la voz de José SacristánEl Norte de Castilla [Renowned Spanish actor José Sacristán reads excerpts from works by Miguel Delibes]                              

Reportages (Radio & TV Programs)

Miguel Delibes. Films on Demand. 1976. Accessed November 14, 2020. [In this interview for Spanish Television's "A fondo" program, Miguel Delibes talks about his early life and career.] Resource available to authorized IU Bloomington users (on or off campus).

La X de MAX: La historia de amor de Miguel Delibes - Imprescindbles, RTVE

Miguel Delibes en su centenario - Documentos RNE, Radio Nacional de España

La voz de Delibes - Podcast, El Norte de Castilla [A four-part podcast made from segments of the interviews and reports in which Miguel Delibes has participated.]

Delibes por Delibes - Escritores en el RTVE

Musical adaptations

Opera Cinco horas con Mario (2020) based on the homonymous novel by Miguel Delibes - Instituto Cervantes.


Delibes - Biblioteca Nacional de España - Del 18 de septiembre al 15 de noviembre de 2020. [Download exhibition catalog]

Special issue dedicated to Miguel Delibes on his centennial - El Norte de Castilla (From 1958 to 1964, Delibes served as director of the Valladolid newspaper El Norte de Castilla).

Centenario Delibes: una conversación con José Sacristán y Jesús Marchamalo - Librería Alberti, 19 October 2020.

Miguel Delibes y su obra en Rusia - Virtual exhibition organized by Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain in Moscow (2020).


Monográfico Miguel Delibes - Centro Virtual Cervantes

Miguel Delibes - Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes

Delibes in El País - A collection of articles on Miguel Delibes published in El País, Spain’s newspaper of record

Miguel Delibes - Archivo de RTVE

Miguel Delibes Setién. Académico de número - Real Academia Española