The Book Of Barcelona online launch sees Manchester-based publisher Comma Press join forces with Leeds’ The Northern Short Story Festival to present the latest Reading The City anthology, in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes in Manchester and Leeds.
From Birmingham to Tehran, the Reading The City series celebrates the best short stories from cities in the UK and around the world. Since 2006, Comma have sourced a selection of ten authors from specific cities to collate ten short stories that depict the social, historical or political essence of their contemporary city, so that each anthology is a ‘city in short fiction’.
In The Book Of Barcelona, ten stories about Manchester’s fellow UNESCO City Of Literature, written by ten of its most prominent authors, are translated from both Catalan and Spanish into English for the first time.
In The Book Of Barcelona, ten stories about Manchester’s fellow UNESCO City Of Literature, written by ten of its most prominent authors, are translated from both Catalan and Spanish into English for the first time. Edited by Zoë Turner and Manel Ollé, the featured writers are Borja Bagunyà, Carlota Gurt, Empar Moliner, Jordi Nopca, Marta Orriols, Jordi Puntí, Llucia Ramis, Francesc Serés, Gonzalo Torné and Carlos Zanón; translated by Jennifer Arnold, Laura McGloughlin, Helena Buffery, Peter Bush, Mary Ann Newman, Annie McDermott, Ruth Clarke, Martha Tennent, Mara Faye Lethem and Julia Sanches.
The anthology explores the city of Barcelona from a myriad of perspectives, with stories ranging from the boy who won’t stop growing in the working-class Guineueta neighbourhood on the outskirts of city, to the woman returning home after living for some years in London. In this special virtual launch event, co-editor Zoë Turner will be in conversation with two of the contributing authors, the award-winning writers Carlota Gurt and Empar Moliner.
Empar Moliner burst onto the Catalan and Spanish literary scene in 1999 with her book, L’ensenyador de pisos que odiava els mims, a collection of satirical stories demonstrating a cold, sarcastic, and sometimes shocking view of everyday obsession. Her first novel, Feli, esthéticienne, is a comic account of passion; it was awarded the prominent Josep Pla Prize in 2000. Her collection of stories, T’estimo si he begut, was awarded the most influential Catalan literary prize, the Lletra d’Or Prize, and was voted the book of the year by La Vanguardia and El Periódico magazines. She currently works as a writer and journalist.
Carlota Gurt is a professional translator with over ten years of experience. She made her debut in fiction writing in 2019, when she won the Mercè Rodoreda Prize with the short story collection Cavalcarem tota la nit. She recently published her first novel, Sola. Previously she was production manager for La Fura dels Baus and the Temporada Alta Festival. She lives between Barcelona and the Baix Empordà.
Zoë Turner graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA in English Literature having developed a specific interest in contemporary poetry. She went on to complete a Masters in Film and Television: Research and Production at the University of Birmingham. Zoë has previously run workshops to encourage community engagement with short form writing, and has worked alongside organisations such as Ort Gallery and The Barber Institute of Fine Arts to create films for digital engagement. In August 2020 she joined online feminist magazine The F-Word as their fiction editor and in 2021 she became a mentor for Arts Emergency.
Meanwhile, Comma Press author Sarah Schofield is running a creative writing workshop as part of the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference on 25 September and she will be reading at the short story showcase at Blackwell’s bookshop on 13 October and launching her new collection – find out more here.