A LEADING Spanish author has turned down €20,000 in prize money from the government in order to ‘avoid state institutions’.

Javier Marias, author of A Heart So White and Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me received the national narrative prize for his new novel, The Infatuations.

“All my life I have managed to avoid state institutions, regardless of which party was in government, and I have turned down all income from the public purse,” said Marias, 61, who has been widely tipped as a future Nobel Prize winner.

“I don’t want to be seen as an author who is favoured by any particular government.”