On Dec. 15, 2017, the Catalan cultural organization Òmnium Cultural celebrated its traditional “Santa Lucia night” and awarded different writers with their annual awards. The Sant Jordi novel prize is one of the most important for a novel written in Catalan, and this year’s winner is Joan-Lluís Lluís with the novel entitled Joc sóc aquell que va matar Franco [I’m the one who killed Franco].
Josep Massot gave the following summary in La Vanguardia:
The novel starts as a realistic narration and turns slowly into a uchronia: the moment in which Franco, hurried on by Hitler, declares war against the Allies on June 15, 1940.
Joan-Lluís Lluís is a novel writer with a long maduration. He has got an idea, writes a few scenes, and after a few years he turns to it again. […] The protagonist of this novel is Agustí Vilamat, born in 1916 in Solsona. Due to an absurd accident, he loses an eye at age 5. He is a shy, clumsy boy who discovers written Catalan through a children’s magazine. As an adult he works as a linguistic corrector in Barcelona. As a soldier during the [Spanish] Civil War, he is a disaster, because one-eyed he can’t shoot with security and he carries everywhere a Fabra dictionary [Catalan] that he knows by heart. The war doesn’t end in 1939 [as in reality], because Franco crosses the Pyrenees, and a bombardment of the Argelers [France] refugee camp kills the girl that Vilamat was in love with; but soon, as the Allies invade the Iberian peninsula to liberate it from fascism, Vilamat gets a chance to take revenge. “I don’t hide that the description of Franco’s death is a literary revenge,” said the laureate. “How many things would have been avoided!”
The other prizes and their winners:
Carles Riba (poetry) to Josep Maria Fulquet for the poem Ample vol de nit [Wide night flight]
Mercè Rodoreda (short stories) to Clara Queraltó for El que pensen els altres [What the others think]
Juvenile literature to Ivan Ledesma for Negorith
Child literature not awarded
New prizes for published works (20,000 € to the author and 5,000 € to the publisher):
Raül Garrigasait, Els estranys [The strangers], cf. Feb. 2017 post
Vicenç Pagès Jordà, Robinson
Maria Guasch, Els fills de Llacuna Park [The children of Lagoon Park]
SOURCE: La Vanguardia, Dec. 16, 2017, pp. 42-43 [printed edition]