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Jaume Cabré’s novel 'Confessions' hits English bookstores

October 22, 2014 09:12 PM | ACN

Catalan author Jaume Cabré’s latest novel 'Jo confesso' has been translated into English and is finally hitting bookstores in the Anglophone world for the first time since its original publication in 2011. It was translated by Mara Faye Letham and published by Arcadia books. The novel, which this year won the Courrier International Prize for 'Best foreign novel', as well as several Catalan literature awards, has already been translated into Spanish, German, Italian and Chinese, among others. This is another success for Catalan literature, after the publication in English of 'Quadern gris' ('The Grey Notebook') by Josep Pla and the Joan Sales classic 'Incerta Glòria' ('Uncertain Glory'). Catalan literature is blossoming among English readers, thanks to the recent translations of several other classics.

Catalans’ English skills on an upward trend – still behind Spaniards and European leaders

March 21, 2014 09:14 PM | Emma Garzi

In 2012, 26.5% of the Catalans could have a conversation with someone in English, according to the latest survey on foreign languages issued by the Catalan Institute of Statistics (IDESCAT). The youngest population was also the most skilled, with 50.8% of teenagers aged 15-19 knowing the language. According to EU studies on bilingualism, Catalonia should offer a more positive context for English learning, due to having two main official languages, Catalan and Castilian (referred to as Spanish abroad). But, despite improving figures, the Catalans remain slightly behind the Spaniards and are still outdistanced by the Scandinavian leaders. Nevertheless, recent figures point towards a positive change in trend, sparked by a school system that fosters true bilingualism. Interestingly, Catalan currently is the minority language in Catalonia, following successive waves of immigration from other regions in Spain and Franco’s repression.

Propeller’s magical staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Girona

December 5, 2013 05:04 PM | ACN / Tània Tàpia

The Temporada Alta Theatre Festival, held each year in Girona and Salt (Northern Catalonia), welcomes back one of its most loyal international companies: Propeller, which is indeed back on stage at the Municipal Theatre of Girona. It is the 6th time the English troop is performing in this northern Catalan city, and they have claimed to have fallen in love with it. In the past 16 years, Propeller has staged Shakespeare plays in over 22 countries, attracting thousands of people. This year, they are presenting their reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in both Girona and other cities across Spain. The company is formed only of male actors, in a similar fashion to Elizabethan era theatre troops. Their staging of the play is full of magic and surrealism, creating a variety of different atmospheres and leading to many smiles in the audience.

Tom Sharpe leaves an unfinished autobiography after dying in his Costa Brava house aged 85

June 7, 2013 01:17 AM | CNA

The world-famous English satirical writer, author of the ‘Wilt’ series and the novel ‘Porterhouse Blue’, died in the Catalan coastal village of Llafranc, where he had been living since the early 1990s. The writer’s doctor and secretary unveiled that Sharpe had left an unfinished autobiography with 30,000 words already written. The British author died from complications of his diabetes while he was sleeping in his house during the early hours of Thursday. He passed away “in the most peaceful way”, his widow Nancy told the press. Nancy Sharpe thanked medical services for the attention received in the last few days and stated that the family will keep the Costa Brava house, which was so dear to the writer. She explained that her husband “fell in love with the sunlight and the Mediterranean sea” of the Costa Brava.