The best day of the year for writers, readers and booksellers alike: Sant Jordi

April 24, 2013 07:37 PM | Cèlia Muns / Paula Montañà

Victus, the historical novel by Albert Sánchez Piñol, has triumphed on the Catalan National Day of roses and books both in the Spanish and Catalan language. In the category of media-friendly writers, the biggest-selling book has been Brúixoles que busquen somriures perduts by Albert Espinosa, the scriptwriter known for his hit TV series Polseres Vermelles (‘The Red Band Society’). Barcelona’s streets were filled with bookstalls where the most popular authors signed their books in front of huge queues of excited fans. For bookshops it is also a great chance to bring in some much needed revenue as it is estimated that on Sant Jordi’s Day they invoice between 8% and 10% of the whole year’s profits, a figure of around 18 million euros.

Sant Jordi, much more than books and roses

April 23, 2013 09:18 PM | Laia Miranda / Anna Pérez Martí / Helena Xirgu

The Catalan tradition of Sant Jordi (Saint George) dictates that men should buy a red rose to their beloved and women ought to give them a book in return. That's the theory, but in practice the crowd who fills the centre of Barcelona is buying many other things, such as earrings, T-shirts or even scarlet artichokes… April 23rd is a good day to be in Barcelona. The atmosphere is cheerful and roses tower over thousands of people who stroll down la Rambla, looking for a certain title at the bookstands or just being seduced by the cover of the latest bestseller.

Sant Jordi: love, roses and books

April 22, 2013 07:24 PM | Océane Apffel Font

Saint George (Sant Jordi in Catalan) is the patron saint of Catalonia. Every 23rd April the traditional red roses and all kinds of books invade the streets creating a unique atmosphere. Tradition says that the man gives a rose to his loved one and she offers a book to the man she loves. However, tradition has evolved and people also give books and roses to partners, family members and friends now. Despite the crisis six million roses and a million books are expected to be sold.

Nazanin Armanian: “The mass media have created a distorted and demonised image of Iran”

March 25, 2013 07:45 PM | Rosa Soto

Barcelona-based Iranian writer, journalist and teacher, Nazanin Armanian, presents the second edition of her animal story book compilation. This book sets out some basic principles about the relationships between animals and human beings and can be seen as a starting point for comparing international relationships, especially between Iran, Middle Eastern countries and the West. Armanian graduated in Political Science at Universitat de Barcelona and is preparing her doctoral thesis in Philosophy. She talked to CNA about how humans relate to animals and the relationship between Iran, the Middle East and the West.

Catalan literature on show at the 2013 Paris Book Fair since Barcelona is this year’s guest city

March 22, 2013 11:03 PM | CNA / Violeta Gumà

Classic and contemporary authors from Catalonia, writing in Catalan or in Spanish, are one of the main attractions of this year’s Salon du Livre in Paris, which is one of the main book fairs internationally. Running from Friday the 22nd to Monday the 25th of March in the French capital, this year the book fair has Barcelona as its guest city under the title ‘Barcelona, ville des prodiges’. The Institut Ramon Llull, the public body in charge of promoting Catalan culture abroad, is organising the presence of Catalan literature at the fair. During the first day, the visitors were mainly interested in Eduardo Mendoza, Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Josep Pla, who wrote ‘The Grey Notebook’ which has just been translated into French.

Cowboys, criminals and superheroes: the main attractions at the 31st edition of the Barcelona International Comic Fair

February 19, 2013 09:06 PM | CNA / Margalida Amengual / Rosa Soto

This year’s edition of the Catalan comic exhibition has chosen Westerns as one of its main themes but also includes retrospective exhibitions of superheroes like 'Superman', 'The Avengers' and the 'X-Men'. Another focus of the Comic Fair is the presence of authors and cartoonists from last year’s edition along with different types of conferences and cultural and artistic activities. International artists such as Manu Lacernet, Guy Delisle, Liniers and Lorena Canottiere have confirmed their participation at the event which will be held from the 11th to the 14th of April.

Ildefonso Falcones: “If ‘Cathedral of the Sea’ had not been published, I could not have done the same effort again”

February 14, 2013 07:07 PM | Clara Roig / Paco Cavaller

A week before Ildefonso Falcones’ third novel ‘The Barefoot Queen’ goes on sale, CNA interviews the Barcelona lawyer that became internationally acclaimed in 2006 thanks to his best-selling debut ‘Cathedral of the Sea’. The novel, set in medieval Barcelona sold seven million copies in 40 countries and introduced him to the literature scene as one of the main Spanish authors of historical novels. Now, on the 21st of February, he will publish his third book, which will be on sale simultaneously in Spain, Latin America and the United States. Falcones explains what writing means to him as well as the difficulties of the creative process.

Ildefonso Falcones’ new novel ‘La reina descalza’ will be on sale the 21st of February

January 25, 2013 07:10 PM | CNA / Clara Roig

Ildefonso Falcones, the writer from Barcelona who rose to fame thanks to his best-selling debut ‘Cathedral of the Sea’, will publish his third novel on the 21st of February. The book, which will be on sale at the same time in Spain, Latin America and the United States, is about the friendship, passion and revenge between two women from Madrid and Seville in the 18th century, and is a call to freedom.

Barcelona’s Manga Fair kicks off and focuses on Dragon Ball

November 2, 2012 11:08 PM | CNA / Pere Francesch

The 18th Manga Fair of Barcelona is running from the 1st to the 4th of November, in the Montjuic venue of Fira de Barcelona. The fair has moved location, increasing the space from 11,000 square metres to 17,000. This year’s ‘Saló del Manga’ pays tribute to Dragon Ball, written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. During the opening of fair, many people were dressed up as Goku, Son Gohan, Piccolo, Master Roshi, Bulma, Pilaf or Red Ribbon Army members. The fair is the annual get-together of the Catalan manga and anime fans. This year, the meeting also focused on Japanese cuisine, with cooking workshops and an exhibition showing its relationship with manga cartoons.

The legend of Sant Jordi alive and kicking

April 23, 2012 08:50 PM | CNA / Laura Fabregat

There is a special feel to the streets of Catalonia on 23rd April as for one day locals set aside their daily concerns to celebrate a unique tradition: Sant Jordi’s Day. Every 23rd April is awash with the colour of roses and the gleaming jackets of books hot off the presses. Tradition dictates that today is the day men give their loved ones a rose and in return women buy men a book. The results are spectacular as around 7 million roses and 1.7 million books are sold in the space of a single day.