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An Evening on Josep Pla at the New York Public Library

April 23, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

On April 23, Saint Jordi’s Day, Catalonians offer books and flowers to loved ones in honor of Barcelona’s patron saint. In a New York version of this tradition, Jordi Puntí and Colm Tóibín pay tribute to the great Catalan writer Josep Pla. Puntì and Tóibín will discuss Pla’s life, work, and enduring influence on Catalan and Spanish literature. More information here, and RSVP here.

Josep Pla’s (1897-1981) immense body of fiction, travel writing, and notebooks has only just begun to surface in English. Banned from Spain in 1924 for his criticisms of the dictator, Pla continued to report from Russia, Rome, Berlin, and London before returning to Madrid in 1927. He supported the new Spanish Republic that emerged in 1931, but was soon disillusioned and left the country during the Civil War, to return in 1939. Under the Franco regime, he was internally exiled to Palafrugell and his articles for the weekly review Destino were frequently censored. His complete works are published in forty-five volumes. Life Emitters and The Grey Notebook were recently translated into English.


colmtoibinbyphoebelingThe Irish writer Colm Tóibín has published more than twenty books, including the novels The SouthThe Master, Brooklyn, The Testament of Mary (short-listed for the Man Booker Prize), and most recently, Nora Webster, named a New York Times Notable Book of 2014. His non-fiction books include Homage to BarcelonaLady Gregory’s Toothbrush, and New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and their Families. Tóibín’s many literary awards and honors include the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2009 and the Irish PEN Award in 2011.  Tóibín writes frequently for The New York Review of Books and is a professor of the Humanities at Columbia University. He was a fellow at the Cullman Center in 2000-2001.




Jordi Puntí – author, translator, and regular contributor to the Catalan and Spanish press – lives in Barcelona. His first novel, Lost Luggage, was translated into sixteen languages and won the Spanish National Critics’ Award, the Catalan Booksellers Prize, and the Lletra d’Or. Punti has also published two collections of short stories and a memoir about his childhood in an industrial town in Spain in the 1970s. He is currently a fellow at Cullman Center, working on a novel inspired by the life of the musician Xavier Cugat.




The event is co-presented with the New York Public LibraryNew York Review Books, and the Institut Ramon Llull. More information here.


April 23, 2015
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm