Lauding literature: Catalan Book Week is back

Barcelona will be celebrating all things literature once again this week, with the return of the annual Catalan Book Week on September 8.


September 6, 2017 06:26 PM

Avinguda del Catedral de Barcelona will turn into a bookworm’s dream, as 163 exhibitors take to the street, including publishers, bookshops, and literary institutions, for the 35th edition of the event.

Catalan Book Week’s president, Joan Sala, has promised that this year will be bigger and more international than ever before.

International aspirations

Renowned American author Paul Auster will be making an appearance alongside other international writers, as well as more than 15 international publishers with a keen literary eye looking to distribute Catalan literature abroad.

An important date on the city’s calendar, publishers try and make the most of the event, revealing the latest editions hot off the press.

Paul Auster will be presenting his latest work “4, 3, 2, 1” (Edicions 62), together with many Catalan authors such as Erri de Luca, Jordi Coca, Albert Manent and Jaume Medina, to name a few. Other international writers include Gulnar Hajo from Syria, and Mary Beard from England.

Celebrating Catalan culture

Despite a more international presence this year, the focus remains on Catalan literature, which forms a strong part of Catalan culture itself. “Looking to the exterior,” Sala said, “will not make us forget our own authors that will be present on many occasions to come”.

In 2015, 14% of all books sold in Spain were in Catalan. The Association of Publishers in Catalonia estimated that in 2016 sales in Catalan Book Week reached around 240 million euros, out of a total of nearly 500 million euros made throughout the year.

Considered one of the most important cultural events in Catalonia, it continues to inspire people to read books in Catalan, and draws support from other Catalan speaking regions such as Andorra, where Catalan is the official language, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands.

"In this edition there will be representation of associations and guilds of virtually all Catalan speaking areas, with the exception of Alghero (Italy),” said Montse Ayats, president of the Association of Publishers of Catalunya.

The event will be running from the 8th to 17th of September, with more than 300 acts, including routes, presentations, and chats with authors.