“Confessions” to be published in English

It had been announced for publication in 2015, Amazon already lists it for October 15, 2014: the talk is about Jaume Cabré’s Jo confesso [lit. “I confess” – Confessions] in English, a best-selling Catalan novel originally published in 2011, already translated into 14 languages, and currently being translated into 20 more. The British publisher’s pdf catalogue offers this introduction:

“At sixty and with a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s, Adrià Ardèvol re-examins his life before his memory is systematically deleted. He recalls a love-less childhood, in which the family antique business and his father’s study become the centre of his world, where a treasured Storioni violin retains the shadows of a crime committed many years earlier. His mother, a cold, distant and pragmatic woman leaves him to his solitary games, full of unwanted questions. An accident ends the life of his enagmatic father, filling Adrià’s world with guilt, secrets and deeply troubling mysteries that take him years to uncover. – Ambitious, powerful and deeply moving, this magnificent novel addresses life’s big issues, and explores the relationship between guilt and forgiveness, between evil and redemption and, most of all, between love and pain.”

Amazon.co.uk offers a slightly longer text.

The Catalan publisher, Group 62 adds: “Jo confesso is a long love-letter of someone who had to play alone for many years, between old books and unconfessed secrets; of someone who feels guilty of a violent death, and of someone who doesn’t understand the evil that accompanies the history of the West.” [Unofficial translation by this blogger]

Vilaweb announced Lucia Graves as Cabre’s translator, Amazon gives the name of Mara Faye Letham. Arcadia Books, the publisher of the English version, doesn’t mention the translator at all… A quick search on Google for both of them hasn’t resulted in any clue. This blogger thinks that M. Faye Letham is the likelier candidate as she is younger and has been more prolific recently, but we might have to wait until October for the definite answer.

Where there is no doubt: the English version will be a lot cheaper than the original hardcover, especially on amazon.com; but since June 2013 there has been a paperback version that makes it still cheaper to read the 1008 pages in Catalan…

More information on the writer Jaume Cabré (Barcelona, 1947) can be found at the Wikipedia and on the publishers’ pages cited below. Vilaweb had an interview with the author as well as some working sample in English.

Update: The Guardian offers this review.

Sources: Arcadia Books‘ 2014 catalogue, p. 21; Proa (Grup 62)

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