20th anniversary of Pontas literary agents

Sergio Vila-Sanjuán wrote an article in La Vanguardia newspaper (Dec. 27, p. 36) on the author and literary agent Anna Soler-Pont whose agency Pontas celebrates its 20th anniversary these days. Soler-Pont started out as an indefatigable traveller to book fairs around the world, and she wanted to bring some balance as to gender and geographical origin into the Spanish publishing houses that were concentrated mainly on male authors from Western or Latin American countries. “The bases were feminism, literature, and interculturality,” according to Vila-Sanjuán. This meant that among her initial authors we find Nawal el Saadwi (Egypt),  Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria), or Pham Thi Hoài (Vietnam). Over the years, Soler-Pont has broadened her focus, so that today she looks back at over 1,000 titles sold to publishers, and her catalogue currently includes 77 authors, also male ones and those from Barcelona, such as Lluís Anton Baulenas, Robert Saladrigas, and Blanca Busquets. Her last “coup” was launching Jonas Jonasson to international fame.

Apart from her work as an agent, Soler-Pont acted as the spokesperson in Spain of the International Solidarity Committee in Defense of Taslima Nasrin (Bangladesh), and in 2007 as the commissioner of the project “Catalan Culture” for the Frankfurt book fair. She co-authered La filla del Ganges [The Ganges’s daughter] with Asha Miró.

Asked for a literary recommendation by the article’s author, Soler-Pont -“faithful to her origins”- named the Palestine author Susan Abulhawa.

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