Project Description

Contra AmazonJorge Carrión

Spain

Jorge Carrión was born in Tarragona, Spain in 1976. He directs the Master in Literary Creation at the UPF-BSM in Barcelona and writes weekly in the Spanish edition of The New York Times. His works include the narrative essays BOOKSHOPS (2013) and BARCELONA: BOOK OF PASSAGEWAYS (2017), and the novels THE DEAD (2010), THE ORPHANS (2014) and THE TOURISTS (2015). His articles on contemporary culture and travel have been published in El País, La Vanguardia, National Geographic magazine, and other international media. Carrión‘s work has been translated into fifteen languages.

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Jorge Carrión© Pedro Madueno

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The Viral

Did the 21st century begin with the fall of the Twin Towers in New York or with the entry of a virus into a man’s body in Wuhan? Is SARS-CoV-2 the first cyborg pathogen? Are Netflix, Zoom and Amazon multinational pandemics? How can one represent the transformation of science fiction into everyday reality? The Viral (“Lo viral”) is, at the same time, a meticulous reconstruction of the first months of the coronavirus from personal experience, a fragmentary essay on digital virality, the memory of a quarantined library, an experiment in cultural criticism and a false but sincere diary that manages to keep the reader in permanent brain activity and throws up a series of essential questions about the future that awaits us.

Quotes

The Viral

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Against Amazon

Picking up where Bookshops: A Reader’s History left off, Against Amazon (“Contra Amazon”) explores the impact of new technologies on bookshops and libraries. Collecting Jorge Carrión’s essays on these vital cultural spaces, as well as interviews with the writers who love them. Jorge Carrión travels to the innovative libraries and bookstores of Seoul; in Naples and Capri he researches the history of the mythical house of Curzio Malaparte; he interviews booksellers and writers; he talks about books and cities with Alberto Manguel, Iain Sinclair, Luigi Amara and Han Kang; he interprets the libraries of Don Quixote and Captain Nemo, and pays homage to some of the world‘s most fascinating bookstores and libraries. Against Amazon is in equal parts a history of books and bookshops, a reader’s autobiography, a travelogue, a love letter – and, urgently, a manifesto against the corrosive pressures of modern-day capitalism.

Quotes

Against Amazon

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Barcelona: Book of Passageways

In his new book Barcelona: Book of Passageways (“Barcelona. Libro de los pasajes”), Jorge Carrión invites us to stroll through the streets of Barcelona and especially its passageways, those elements of urban life that bring people together and contain hidden stories. The author wanders around the city, speaks with passers-by and the inhabitants of the passagaways. He rediscovers historical characters and stories that have contributed to the development of the city. Carrión tells us about Barcelona, but in reality he is talking about urban spaces all around the world, and the book is also in some ways a tribute to Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”.

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Barcelona. Scrap Heap Tramps

In the graphic novel Barcelona. Scrap Heap Tramps (“Barcelona. Los vagabundos de la chatarra”), Jorge Carrion and Sagar Forniés, author and illustrator, perform a work of investigative journalism leading them to the world of scrap. They witness the daily struggle for survival of many people, often illegals, in an industry increasingly coveted by large companies that have the support of the municipal authorities. This novel allows several readings: it is a factual account of the metal recycling industry, an urban portrait with precariousness as its protagonist, a tourist counter-guide, and an essay on the miseries of the “Barcelona” trademark. Scrap dealers are the central characters of this true story that represents universal arguments: imbalances and injustices in the world.

Quotes

Barcelona. Scrap Heap Tramps

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The Deceased

In The Deceased (“Los difuntos”), Jorge Carrión tells the prequel to The Dead (“Los muertos”), set in a fictional 19th century New York City. In this society where technological progress reigns, “new ones” are enslaved in order to ensure the working of the steam machines. With time, they will climb the social ladder and become the “old ones”. In this scenario the philosophical ideals of Dionysos and Apollo materialize in the main character, who will battle against the decadence of progress and the oppression it generates. Jorge Carrión brilliantly narrates this tale about the search for identity and purpose set in a fictional world that is in many ways much like ours – from the alienation of the human being in a technological world, to the high price the “new ones” are willing to pay for the American dream.

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Bookshops

Jorge Carrión’s book Bookshops (“Librerías”) is a survey of the history of bookstores all over the world, their relationships with writers and how they became the center pieces of culture and political resistance, making a trip through the history of the book trade from Ancient Rome to the 21st century. Nostalgic yet demystifying, this extraordinary book is the result of many readings, researches and visits to bookstores on the five continents, veering between cultural critique and travel chronicle. Librerías has come second in the prestigious Anagrama Award for Essays and is now in its 4th edition with 10,000 copies sold in Spain. English world rights have been sold to MacLehose Press.

Quotes

Bookshops

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The Footprints

In his cleverly construed novel The Footprints (“Las huellas”), the author brings a number of essential topics like identity and human relationships together with moments in time and space, keeping the reader glued to the page. Reminiscent of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, Las huellas features a suggestive plot and vivid characters that make us question the future of our planet.

Quotes

The Footprints

RIGHTS

NOVELS
The Footprints (“Las huellas”), project consisting of:

The Dead (“Los muertos”)
Barcelona/Buenos Aires: Mondadori 2010, 2011; Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2014, 224 p.
English sample translation available
France: Seuil · Italy: Atmosphere 2012 · Mexico: Mondadori 2011 · Venezuela: Lugar Común

The Orphans (“Los huérfanos”)
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2014, 255 p.
France: Seuil 2017

The Tourists (“Los turistas”)
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2015, 256 p.
France: Seuil

ESSAYS
Lo viral
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2020, 176 p.

Contra Amazon
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2019, 172 p.
Brazil: Elefante · Canada: Biblioasis (English world rights) · Egypt: Al Arabi · France: Nouvel Attila · Italy: edizioni e/o

Barcelona: Book of Passageways (“Barcelona. Libro de los pasajes”)
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2017, 340 p.
China: SDX

Bookshops (“Librerías”)
Madrid: Anagrama 2013, 320 p.
Second place in the Anagrama Award for Essays 2013
Already 20,000 copies sold in Spanish language!
Spanish Audio rights: Storyside Stockholm · Argentina: Anagrama 2013 · Brasil: Bazar do Tempo 2018 · Canada: Biblioasis 2017 (incl. USA rights) · China: SDX 2018 · Egypt: Al-Arabi 2018 · France: Seuil 2016 · Greece: Potamos · Italy: Garzanti 2015 · Japan: Hakusuisha 2019 · Korea: Yibom · Mexico: Anagrama 2013 · Poland: Noir sur Blanc 2017 · Portugal: Quetzal 2017 · Russia: Ad Marginem 2018 · Slovenia: Cankarjeva Zalozba 2019 · UK: MacLehose Press 2016

Teleshakespeare
Madrid: Errata Naturae 2011, 232 p.
Argentina: Interzona 2014 · Costa Rica: Germinal 2013 · México: Tintable 2015

Viaje contra Espacio.
Juan Goytisolo y W.G. Sebald
Madrid/Frankfurt: Iberoamericana/Vervuert 2009, 187 p.

GRAPHIC NOVELS
Barcelona. Scrap Heap Tramps (“Barcelona. Los vagabundos de la chatarra”)
Together with illustrator Sagar Forniés
Barcelona: Norma 2015, 104 p.

SHORT NOVELS
The Deceased (“Los difuntos”)
Badajoz: Aristas Martínez 2015, 107 p.

TRAVEL LITERATURE (SELECTION)
Norte es Sur. Crónicas americanas
Caracas: Venezuela Debate 2009, 186 p.
Madrid/Barcelona 1995 -2010
Madrid/Frankfurt: Iberoamericana/Vervuert 2009, 285 p.

Australia. Un viaje
Córdoba: Berenice 2008, 270 p.
English sample translation available
Spanish Audio rights: Storyside Stockholm

PARTICIPATION IN ANTHOLOGIES
Barcelona Tales:
UK: Oxford University Press 2019
Julio, the Parrot, and the Taxi Driver (Julio, el loro y el taxista), taken from: “Barcelona. Libro de los pasajes”

Crossing Barcelona. Literarische Streifzüge durch die Hauptstadt Kataloniens
München: Sammlung Luchterhand 2007