The winner of the 47th Josep Pla prize, for a novel written in Catalan and endowed with 6,000 EUR, is the writer (and high-school janitor) Andreu Carranza (Ascó, 1957) for El poeta del poble [The people’s poet].
The publisher’s summary:
This is a fascinating novel that starts with Verdaguer made councillor of the richest and most influential man in the country, the marquis of Comillas, and having been crowned as prince of the poets, a social triumph never ever experienced before by a Catalan writer, in the boom year of the Catalan Renaixença. … We are presented with a Verdaguer who experiences the clash between his passionate vocation and the political and ecclesiastic interests that his unexpected behaviour put into question. A passionate traveler, Verdaguer gets to know Cuba, Palestine, the Vatican, etc. His extraordinary personality, his relation with the marquis’ spouse, Maria Bayón, his generosity with alms, exorcisms… all this brings him into a lot of trouble. We follow the rise and fall of a legend in life. Controversy accompanies the last leg of his life; he’s a celebrity and everybody positions themselves with the hierarchy or with him who dares to challenge it. A romantic history of personal affirmation and defense of dignity, a moving and dramatic adventure that forms part of the foundational epic of modern Catalonia.
The Wikipedia has got this article on Verdaguer.
El poeta del poble will come out on February 4, and it is Carranza’s ninth published novel; this blogger has seen some of his work translated into German at the Frankfurt main station bookstore.