April 29, 2021 (15:00 - 16:30 Boston | 21:00 – 22:30 Madrid)
In commemoration of World Book Day (April 23rd)
This session will pay tribute to Barcelona, the city which first celebrated World Book Day, a festivity which is now observed worldwide on April 23rd after its recognition by UNESCO. Cervantes acknowledged Barcelona as a city of books by having Don Quixote hold a conversation on the topic of copyright in one of the city’s publishing houses, a passage which is viewed as a pioneering document on this subject. Later in the 19th century, the Catalonian capital saw the rise of a thriving publishing industry, which exported its encyclopedias to the Americas. In the 1960s, Barcelona became the capital of the “Latin American boom,” and home to its leading literary figures, Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa. Over the last forty years, Barcelona has attracted writers from around the world, including many U.S. authors, who have regularly visited and participated in the literary festivals of the city that continues to distribute their works globally in Spanish translation.
Sergio Vila-Sanjuán, with a degree in History from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a Masters degree in Liberal Arts from Boston University, has worked in cultural journalism since 1977 and is currently responsible for the Cultura/s supplement in La Vanguardia. He has published various studies on the world of books, as well as compilations of his journalism and various plays and novels, one of which won him the 2013 Premio Nadal. Vila-Sanjuán has also received the 2020 Premio Nacional de Periodismo Cultural and is a member of the Real Academia de Buenas Letras.