The feast of Epiphany saw the traditional black-tie prize gala of the publishing house Destino (part of publishing behemoth Planeta) that awarded the 69th Nadal [Christmas] prize for a Spanish novel (this year’s winner was the culture journalist Sergio Vila-Sanjuán for Estaba en el aire [It was in the air]), and the 45th Josep Pla prize for a literary work in Catalan. The winner of the Josep Pla is the (biography) writer Genís Sinca (Manresa, 1970) with his first work of fiction, Una família exemplar [An exemplary family].
The winning novel tells the story of two different family clans that get united by the marriage between the daughter of the Bou (the name means “bull”) clan from Tortosa and the son of the Mirabaix (“looks down”) clan, a well-off family from Manresa. According to Sinca “it is the impossible history of two ways to look at life: the one of the Bous, a family with a long history of illustrated men and with a recognized name and prestige; and the one of the Mirabaix, a rich family without any history, full of materialists, oportunists, and people with no conscience who try to gain some status.” The novel describes the bedazzlement of Dr. Bou, a prestigious pediatrician from Tortosa, who believes to have found the perfect son-in-law. But the fascination gives way to panic and rejection when he discovers the true origin of the Mirabaix lineage. When it is already too late, Bou becomes aware of the fact that the true aims of who seemed to be the perfect son-in-law go way beyond a simple unification of two families: rather than their fortune, he wants to steal their name.
With this novel, Sinca intends to combat the actual society’s drowsiness and sadness, by showing that one can take his or her personal decisions, and by entertaining with funny dialogues between the family members.
Una família exemplar was chosen from 27 participating works and will be published by Destino on February 7, 2013.
[The information contained in this post was taken from an original article written by Montserrat Serra and published on January 7 on vilaweb.cat here.]