books

Sant Jordi to be celebrated in 50 countries worldwide

April 21, 2017 10:48 AM | ACN

One of Catalonia’s most beloved festivals, Sant Jordi, will be celebrated in a record 50 countries worldwide this year. Although Catalonia’s Patron Saint Day is on the 23rd of April, there are activities related to books and roses—the main protagonists of the day—scheduled over the course of a few weeks in New York, Bogotá, London, Melbourne, Johannesburg, and many others. The Delegations of the Catalan Government abroad play a key role in exporting Sant Jordi around the world. Also active is the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), which is a public institution in charge of promoting Catalan culture and language, and the University Network of Catalan Studies Abroad. Thus, exhibitions, public readings, stalls selling books and roses, and elements of Catalan culture, such as traditional human towers (Castellers), will deliver the spirit of Sant Jordi all over the globe.

14% of books released in Spain are in the Catalan language

September 1, 2016 12:21 PM | ACN

Publishers released 11,348 titles in Catalan in 2015, according to a new study by the publishing industry that also shows that sales for books in this language amounted to €230 million. The Catalan publishing industry is in good health, as 43% of all books released in Spanish are also published in Catalonia, but figures could be improved, said the coordinator of ‘Catalan Book Week’, Joan Sala. In fact, the Association of Publishers in Catalan Language is “worried” because of a decline in child and teenage books sales. Its president, Montse Ayats, said that it is very important to attract young readers because reading improves a child’s school performance.

Thousands participate in Catalan activities at the Warsaw Book Fair

May 24, 2016 07:11 PM | ACN

At this year’s edition of the Warsaw Book Fair, where Barcelona along with Catalan culture and literature were guests of honour, 1,700 people attended activities meant to promote the culture of the region. The activities were organised by the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), which is a public institution in charge of promoting Catalan culture and language. A total of 72,000 visitors attended the Book Fair, which was held from the 19th to the 22nd of May. 800 booths from 25 different countries participated in the cultural event, and the booth specifically dedicated to Catalan literature saw the participation of 580 people in its activities. The activities were led by a coalition of Catalan writers composed of Sebastià Alzamora, Blanca Busquets, Jaume Cabré, Jenn Díaz, Rafel Nadal, Marc Pastor, Jordi Puntí, Care Santos, Màrius Serra and Jordi Sierra i Fabra, whose goal was to promote Catalan literature and contemporary creation. 

Barcelona and Catalan literature, guests of honour at the 2016 Warsaw Book Fair

May 19, 2016 07:04 PM | ACN

Catalonia and Barcelona are guests of honour at the 2016 Warsaw Book Fair in the Polish capital. Catalan literature is to be represented by ten Catalan authors, who will attend the 6th edition of the book fair along with 800 booths representing 25 different countries. The Catalan presence at the book fair will consolidate existing relationships and create new ties with Polish literature circles as well as promote the translation of Catalan works into Polish. At the fair, Catalonia will be represented by a booth, a professional programme and a series of literary events. This year will be the 6th edition of the Warsaw Book Fair, which last year saw 860 exhibitors from 29 different countries, gathering up to 800 authors from around the world and more than 72,000 visitors.

Sant Jordi’s Festival could be recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

April 28, 2016 06:29 PM | ACN

After the 2016 celebrations for Sant Jordi’s festival came to a close, Catalan Minister of Culture Santi Vila announced that the Catalan Government will offer its full support to an initiative to recognise the feast day as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). As opposed to UNESCO World Heritage, ICH safeguarding works to promote and protect traditions, practices, and other living expressions of culture beyond physical sites, objects, and monuments. Until now, the Catalan Booksellers Guild and the Catalan Publishers Guild have discussed the initiative with the House of Books — the same institute that worked to have the 23rd of April recognised as UNESCO World Book Day. 

Huge crowds celebrate love and culture in Catalonia

April 23, 2016 08:27 PM | ACN

The festivity of Sant Jordi, one of the most romantic and anticipated days of the year for many Catalans, was a success. Hundreds of thousands of people headed to the streets this Saturday in search of a book and a rose for their loved ones. Barcelona was particularly crowded, but so were the other capitals of Catalonia, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona, and all the small towns and villages of the country. Late in the afternoon, the rain slightly hampered the celebration in parts of the country, especially in the north. Book sellers and florists, however, were satisfied with expected sales of about 1.5 million books and around 5.5 million roses. Sant Jordi was also a great occasion for readers to meet their favourite authors, who took part in different book signings. In Barcelona, where the most famous authors were, but also in other cities, there were long queues for a signature. The bestseller in Catalan was 'La filla del capità Groc', by Víctor Amela.

Sant Jordi's Day: Book recommendations

April 21, 2016 07:47 PM | ACN

Sant Jordi’s Day is not only a huge festival for Catalonia, but for the printing and publishing industry as well. Annually, book sales during the festival weekend contribute between 5 and 8 percent of yearly profits. In 2015, the Catalan Booksellers Guild reported that 1.5 million books had been sold in Catalonia during the Sant Jordi festival, bringing in roughly €19.2 million. If last year’s trends where buyers bought more than one book during the festival continue, sales could be even higher for printed books of varying topics and genres. This year’s predicted top-selling books for Sant Jordi cover everything from ways to tidy up and organise your home to psychological thrillers and island mysteries.

More than 500 activities throughout Catalonia to celebrate Sant Jordi

April 21, 2016 01:54 PM | ACN

To celebrate Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia, various cities and towns throughout Catalonia will host a variety of events, including the more traditional vigil of Sant Jordi on the 22nd of April and the blessing of the roses, but also extending to more than 500 events all over the territory. Such events span staged readings, museum open houses, meetings with writers, dances, open air recitals, and poetry readings. Additionally, more linguistically focused events will take place which will focus on the local language and culture, promoted by the linguistic normalisation centres (CNLs), which aim to promote the use of Catalan in its different forms. Meanwhile, Montblanc, a town which is said to be the home of the legend of dragon slayer Sant Jordi, will host the 29th edition of the Medieval Week of the Legend of Sant Jordi festival in conjunction with the day of Sant Jordi itself. 

Sant Jordi to be celebrated in nearly 150 cities worldwide

April 20, 2016 11:10 AM | ACN

People all over the world celebrate one of Catalonia’s most beloved festivals, Sant Jordi’s Day, in different ways. This year, over 40 countries have planned well over 100 activities throughout the week of the 23rd of April through the first days of May. Through a collaboration between the University Network of Catalan studies abroad as well as the Ramon Llull Institute and the Catalan Government, activities celebrating love, literature, and Catalan culture have been scheduled across Europe as well as North and South America. This year, activities including everything from Instagram contests to a project encouraging students across continents to update and extend Wikipedia articles on the Catalan philosopher and writer Ramon Llull, to whom Catalonia dedicates all the cultural activities this 2016, have been scheduled. 

Sant Jordi on the 23rd of April, one of Catalonia’s most beloved days

April 19, 2016 07:19 PM | ACN

Since the 15th century, Catalonia has been celebrating the feast day of Sant Jordi (Saint George) on the 23rd of April. Each year, people flock to the streets to celebrate this Catalan equivalent to Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, on Sant Jordi’s Day men presented their lovers with roses, while women gave their lovers a book in return. Today, both men and women give roses and books to their friends, family, and partners as a way to celebrate love and literature. More than 500 activities related to Sant Jordi and literature will be held all over Catalonia, although Barcelona is set to be the epicentre, with hundreds of stalls selling roses, bookshops taking their catalogue to the squares and renowned writers signing their novelties and meeting their fans. In the last years, Sant Jordi has also gained international recognition and will be celebrated in more than 40 countries all over the globe.

Catalan literature consolidates its international status at the London Book Fair 2016

April 14, 2016 07:06 PM | Sara Prim

Nearly 20 Catalan literary agencies presented their authors and sealed some important deals at the London Book Fair 2016. “Presenting Catalan literature to the world is normal”, stated the director of the literary agency Pontas, Anna Soler-Pont. “There are translators from Catalan into almost every language”, she added. Indeed, in the last two years there have been more than 250 translations of Catalan books and although most of them are into Spanish and French, English is a growing market. “Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War are amongst the hottest topics”, stated English translator, Peter Bush. Translations into Polish have also rocketed in 2015, due to Catalonia’s special invitation to Warsaw’s Book Fair in May. To cap it all, both classic and contemporary Catalan authors will be available in Chinese this year.

Barcelona becomes a UNESCO City of Literature

December 11, 2015 07:02 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona's candidacy has convinced UNESCO's directors, international experts and the Creative Cities Network and has this Friday joined the list of UNESCO Cities of Literature. From now on, the Catalan capital will have to promote literature, integrate culture into its economic and social development plans and collaborate with the other Creative Cities. The Catalan capital presented the richness of its literary heritage in both the Catalan and Spanish languages and the international power of its editorial sector as some of its main assets. However, the celebration of Saint Jordi, Catalonia's patron day, when Catalans exchange books and roses with their loved ones, has been the focus of the candidacy. In fact, UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated on the 23rd of April, the same day as the Saint Jordi celebrations.

Warsaw Book Fair 2016 to focus on Barcelona and Catalan literature

October 5, 2015 03:45 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

“Barcelona and Catalan literature will be the main focus” at the Warsaw Book Fair 2016, stated the Director of Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), which is a public institution in charge of promoting Catalan culture and language, Àlex Susanna. Next year it will be time to “set the coveted invitation” to the Bologna Book Fair, he added and declared that IRL is “working hard” on a possible “Catalan landing” in the multidisciplinary Edinburgh Festival in two years’ time. Susanna admitted to be optimistic regarding Catalan culture’s international projection and highlighted that this development coincided with the economic crisis.   

Sant Jordi 2015: the sun shines as loved ones exchange roses and books

April 23, 2015 08:53 PM | Shobha Prabhu-Naik Garaialde

Like in 11 other countries around the world, Catalans celebrate their national patron saint, St. George the dragon-slayer, on the 23rd of April every year. In Catalonia, however, rather than an occasion entrenched in patriotism, Sant Jordi is revered as the lovers' day and the book's day, on which loved ones demonstrate their affection for one another with the exchange of roses and books. The sun is shining and the buzzing atmosphere that fills the streets means that just walking along Les Rambles is enough of an adventure on a Sant Jordi Day such as this one. Rose sales have exceeded those of last year by 7%. The best-selling books this year have been 'Algú com tu' by Xavier Bosch (fiction) and 'És l'hora del adéus' by Xavier Sala i Martín (non-fiction) in Catalan and 'Destino, la Templanza' by María Dueñas (fiction) and 'MasterChef. Grandes platos para todos los días' by Jordi Cruz (non-fiction) in Spanish. In total, 1.5 million books will have been sold by the end of the day.

Catalans celebrate Sant Jordi Day by exchanging roses and books with their loved ones

April 22, 2015 10:38 PM | ACN

On the 23rd of April, Catalans celebrate the day of their patron saint, Jordi (Saint George). The day is Catalonia's equivalent to Valentine's Day in the Anglo-Saxon world but it is also a day that pays homage to worldwide literature and reading. Men and women offer books and roses to those they love: relatives, friends, work colleagues and particularly to lovers and partners. Every year introduces twists to the tradition with 2015 presenting the 'TecnoRose' amongst other innovative designs. In addition, many authors spend the day touring around to give readers signed copies of their books. The amount of books sold this year is expected to follow the success and exceed the sales of 2014. 'El món blau. Estima el teu caos' by Albert Espinosa and 'La templanza' by Maria Dueñas are predicted to be among the bestsellers.