The Gothenburg Book Fair, which will be held from 25th to 28th September, has invited 10 Catalan authors under the title Voices from Catalonia, organised by both the Fair and the Institut Ramon Llull. This programme is the fruit of two years of joint labour. Last year the IRL invited a group of Swedish editors and translators to discover first hand Catalan literature and the Catalan publishing sector. As a result of the visit, new translations into Swedish have recently been published of In Diamond Square (Norstedts), The Violin of Auschwitz (Albert Bonniers), A Thousand Fools (Sadura), and a poetry anthology prepared by the poet Lasse Söderberg, featured in the latest issue of the magazine Lyrikvännen. Likewise, there are advanced talks on the translation into Swedish of I Confess by Jaume Cabré – already published in Norwegian and Danish – and Victus by Albert Sánchez Piñol.
The Voices from Catalonia programme will include the following participants: Nuria Amat, Mariona Cabassa, Jaume Cabré, Javier Cercas, Najat El Hachmi, Francesc Parcerisas, Marta Pessarodona, Albert Sánchez Piñol, Care Santos and Salem Zenia. They will participate in various debates, lectures and conversations during the Fair. Brazil is the guest country at this year’s Fair, which will include other international authors, such as the Brazilians Daniel Galera and Roger Mello or the Swedish writer Lotta Lundberg, among others.
The Catalan delegation mainly comprises authors with works which have been or are about to be translated into Swedish, as is the case with Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol or the novels by Javier Cercas, The Speed of Light and Soldiers of Salamis. Closed Rooms by Care Santos was also published last year by the Bonniers publishing house, which has also acquired the rights to Desig de xocolata (Desire for Chocolate). Nuria Amat has also had the novels La intimidad (The Private Life) and El país del alma (The Country of the Soul) published in Swedish, while next year Amor i guerra (Love and War, Ramon Llull Award 2011) is due to be published by Tranan. Many others have been translated into English, including: Jaume Cabré, whose novel I Confess will soon be published by Arcadia; Najat El Hachmi, with the novels The Last Patriarch and The Body Hunter (Serpent’s Tail); and Albert Sánchez Piñol’s Victus, which Harper Collins will soon publish in the U.S.
Poetry will also have a notable presence with the presentation of a new issue of the magazine Lyrikvännen (from the Ellerströms publishing house), which is dedicated to contemporary Catalan poetry and includes poems by Francesc Parcerisas and Marta Pessarrodona, among many others. The anthology has been prepared by the well-known Swedish poet and translator Lasse Söderberg.
Also included in the Voices from Catalonia programme are the illustrator Mariona Cabassa, who will participate in a seminar with the Brazilian illustrator Roger Mello, and Salem Zenia, the Algerian-born poet, novelist and journalist resident in Barcelona, the first writer to be welcomed by the Barcelona-based PEN Català in 2007. He will participate in a poetry lecture at the Fair.
The Catalan authors will participate in the programme of seminars at the Gothenburg Fair, which regularly unites leading names from Swedish and international literature. Guests this year will include David Grossman and Siri Hustvedt. The Gothenburg Book Fair will take place between 25th and 28th September at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre with the main theme being Brazil and Brazilian literature. With approximately 100,000 visitors each year, the Gothenburg Book Fair is the most important cultural event in Scandinavia.
For more information on the Gothenburg Book Fair, go to www.bokmassan.se or find it on Facebook and Twitter.
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