Barcelona Tales

ISBN : 9780198798378

Helen Constantine; Peter Bush
304 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
May 2019
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  • Draws together a selection of genres and literary styles
  • Offers the reader an abundance of local colour
  • The first anthology to bring together key Catalan and Spanish writers and stories, translated here for the first time
  • An ideal introduction to the literature and culture of Barcelona, which provides an original insight into what has made, and now makes, the city today
  • The latest title in the popular City Tales series
  • Stories focus on the themes of migration and class conflict in this beautiful, historical city


Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe, a multilingual capital of an autonomous region that longs to be independent of Spain. The city is famous for its painters, modernist architecture, style of football, and its history, but as Peter Bush reveals it has always been a major centre of literary talent and creativity. Barcelona Talespresents a selection of newly translated short stories by 14 writers, many of them Catalan. The stories explore the themes of migration and class conflict in a city renowned in world literature from the day rural innocents Don Quixote and Sancho Panza visited its streets at the beginning of the seventeenth-century, and witnessed the wonders of the printing press and the cruelties of slavery. Together, they open up the city in ironic, tragic, and lyrical ways, inviting readers to explore fictional lives and literary styles that reflect the dynamic, conflict-ridden character and history of this great European city.


General Introduction, Helen Constantine
Introduction, Peter Bush
1. What happened to Don Quixote when he went to Barcelona?, Miguel de Cervantes
2. Transplanted, Narcís Oller
3. A Brief, Heart-warming Story of a Madame Bovary Born and Bred in Gràcia, Following our Best Principles and Traditions, Montserrat Roig
4. Ramon from Montjuic, Josep Pla
5. Blitz on Barcelona, C.A. Jordana
6. A Detective Story, Juan Marsé
7. Three Steps, Miquel Molina
8. Dead Time, Teresa Solana
9. The Shoe-shine and La Locomotora, Alfredo Bryce Echenique
10. Neighbours, Jordi Nopca
11. Which Country Do You Want?, Empar Moliner
12. The Sound of Keys, Najat El Hachmi
13. The Boy who was Sure to Die, Quim Monzó
14. Julio, the Parrot and the Taxi Driver, Jorge Carrión
Notes on the Authors
Further Reading and Viewing
Publisher's Acknowledgements

About the author: 

Edited by Helen Constantine
Peter Bush

Peter Bush first went to Barcelona in 1968 to research writing inspired by the 1868 Revolution and in 1970 he returned to help set up a group opposed to the Franco dictatorship. He lived in Barcelona for 10 years after retiring from his post as Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation in 2003. An award-winning literary translator, he has translated over seventy books from Catalan, French, Portuguese and Spanish: modern classics like Mercè Rodoreda's In Diamond Square or Valle-Inclán's Tyrant Banderas and work by living authors like Jorge Carrión's Bookshops and Najat el Hachmi's The Last Patriarch.
Miguel de Cervantes
Jorge Carrión
Alfredo Bryce Echenique
Najat El Hachmi
C.A. Jordana
Juan Marsé
Miquel Molina
Empar Moliner
Quim Monzó
Jordi Nopca
Narcís Oller
Josep Pla
Montserrat Roig
Teresa Solana

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