Antoni Pladevall (Taradell, Osona, 1961, writer and high-school teacher) won the 47th Premi Prudenci Bertrana, endowed with 30.000 EUR, for the novel El dia que vaig fer vuit anys [The day I became eight years old]. According to the author, it is a book of memories from age eight to 15, a series of intense recollections. All starts with his eighth birthday in a farmhouse in Taradell, when his god- and grandfather Ton weighed him on scales normally used for grain and assigned to him “a both physical and emotional weight”. It was as if from that day the author started to really live, to be aware of his own existence. The novel is divided into 30 short impressions that draw a portrait of this child, emotionally divided between fascination and shame, hope and fear. With indelible experiences such as a stonethrow into his sister’s left eye, the ruthless killing of scorpions in a hill in front of the house, the discovery of the first girl while he rode a bicylce, or the death of his grandfather Ton in a gardening accident. Pladevall considers the book an hommage to the generation of his parents and grandparents, who lived the greyness and imposed silence of the post-Civil War year, and a memory for the younger generations of a world that doesn’t exist any longer. The author maintains that a lot of the keys to his other books are in this work (to be published in November).
The Prudenci Bertrana is only one of several “literary prizes of Girona”. This year’s Miquel de Palol Poetry award went to Manuel Forcano (Barcelona, 1968, info) for Ciència exacta [Exact science]; the Carles Rahola Essay award went to Marta Rovira (Banyoles, 1969, sociologist, homepage) for a study that questions the official version of Spain’s “transitition” from Franco’s dictatorship to democracy. The 29th Ramon Muntaner juvenile literature award went to Francesc Puigpelat (Balaguer, 1959) for Romeo i Julieta, Segona part [Romeo and Juliet, part 2], a zombie version of Shakespeare’s drama.
SOURCE: La Vanguardia, Sept. 18, 2014