Apart from being the 25th anniversary of German reunification, October 3 was also the last day of “Negra y Criminal” as a Barcelona bookstore specialized in crime novels. It’s name derived from the Spanish term “novela negra” (literally “black novel”) that means “crime novel”. According to La Vanguardia‘s crime novel critic Lilian Neuman, it started as a crazy project in 2002 and ended as a centre of reference, for the exchange of ideas and of cultural radiation for writers, readers and publishers. The initiators behind the project have been Montse Clavé and Paco Camarasa (the latter is also the curator of the “BCNegra” crime novel week). They specialized in crime novels when the genre was still observed with suspicion by the guardians of high culture, and created a space for encounters between often little-known authors and their potential readers. The end of the bookstore-part of the project “Negra y Criminal” is blamed on the success of crime novels, especially after Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, as mainstream books sold everywhere (traditional bookstores, hypermarkets, online). The readers, or not as many readers as in the past, don’t need to go to a specialized bookstore any longer. “Negra y Criminal” will continue with their book clubs and remain their documentary activity. Their website and (wordpress-powered) blog are still operative.
SOURCE: Negra y Criminal; Lilian Neuman, “Cultura/s”, La Vanguardia, Oct. 3, 2015, p. 12-13 (printed edition)