Five novels to start the year that show the vitality of the Catalan literary scene

The literary comeback at the beginning of the year arrived strongly. In addition to publishing some novels that were sufficiently expected given the reputation of their authors, such as “Offert a les mans, el paradís crema” by the writer. Paul GouacheOr “Urgell. Water Fever” from Vicens VillatoroIn these weeks we are also witnessing the arrival of other books proving that the Catalan literary scene still retains a remarkable vitality.

We have focused on 5 of these narratives.

“Invisible walls”

Ramon Mas. Other editing

Ramon Mas is best known for his work at the helm of the independent publishing house Males Herbes, with Ricard Planas. But, at the same time, Maas persevered in his career as a writer for years, authoring two collections of poems and five novels.

The last one, just out of the oven, is the most personal. It is titled “The Invisible Bitterness” and tells a complete autobiographical story that the writer lived through when he was a young man of twenty years. “Invisible Walls,” then, is a coming-of-age story about the transition to adulthood and a song about friendship. The heroes are a group of boys united by their passion for skateboarding and punk music, who cultivate a sense of belonging to the tribe and cling to the identity of their cultural references.

The book, in short, is also a tribute to an entire world growing on the margins and to the relationships forged outside norms.

“excessive anger”

Ferran Grau. Editing angle

In 2005 a crime shook our community. Three well-to-do teenagers murdered Rosario Endrenal, a destitute woman who was sleeping at an ATM in the Sant Gervasi neighborhood of Barcelona. Years after those events, journalist and writer Ferran Grau interviewed one of the perpetrators of the crime. In subsequent meetings, they talked about social reintegration, violence and free will.

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“Hyperrábia” is a novel that drinks from those harsh realities. The film tells how three boys, without purpose or conscience, in love with fascist paraphernalia, go out at night to see what the city has to offer, until one day they stumble upon a homeless person sleeping in a thrift office.

The book immerses us in the madness of the narrator, as he adopts the point of view of a criminal. Furthermore, Grau wrote “Hyperrage” in teenage slang, just as Anthony Burgess had done decades earlier in “A Clockwork Orange,” which was later made into a Stanley Kubrick film.

“commercial novel”

Ponce Puigdeval Editions 1984

Ponç Puigdeval is one of the country's most famous literary critics. But, apart from analyzing others' texts for El Pais, Puigdeval also published three books of short stories, three novels and two book articles.

“The Commercial Novel” is his latest work. The book explains how the longing for inheritance can distort the character of a family that has lost the economic solidity and splendor of yesterday. All the potential heirs are calculating, plotting, lying and desperate to get what each of them believes they exclusively deserve.

Set over the course of a summer in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, “Una Novelà Comercial” also reveals a great truth: that the fear of something happening is more intolerable than the event itself.

“To the last stone”

Berta Creus Liberation Male Herpes

The publishing house Males Herbes is defined, among other things, by its desire to find new literary voices, authors with their own worlds and ways of expressing them that feel real, different and personal. This is the case of Berta Creus, the young writer who now makes her debut with the novel Fins a l'ultima Pedra.

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We're talking about a story-based novel – or a collection of stories gathered together in the form of a novel – that talks about disappearing cities, dying communities and leaving orphaned memories. The text begins with a stranger arriving in an abandoned village to find answers. As he walked among the destroyed houses, a woman asked him to listen to the stones.

This, then, is a book made of ancient voices, of stories that echo in the deserted streets of what was once a city full of life: they are the longings of those who lived there, their desires and fears, echoing like the echoes of ghosts. Over the centuries. A complete vindication for empty Catalonia.

“I'll call it freedom”

Joan Bibiloni. the bell

Joan Bibiloni (no relation to the Mallorcan musician of the same name) is a doctor who has practiced rural medicine for four decades in Soller. But besides treating patients, Bibelloni dreamed of writing a novel that brought together a story he had heard, and been fascinated by, as a child. Finally it was decided.

The result is “Li diré Llibertat,” a thick novel of about 600 pages that tells the story of Tomeu, a man born in 1893 into a family of farmers in Majorca. The context is not suitable for him, because life in the countryside is not easy and the residents suffer from difficulties. When Tomio turns 18, his father kicks him out of the house. The boy then boards a merchant ship. He is accompanied by his horse Liberty and a young day laborer, the son of a stranger.

This is a story of forbidden love that shows the struggle of two lovers to love each other freely despite the obstacles that life imposes on them.

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