Anyone following my Twitter stream today wouldn't be able to avoid noticing that I'm pretty riled up about Google's bizarre and rather random translating of Catalan street names into Spanish. I talk about Catalan a lot on my blog and on Twitter.
Last winter and spring, while I was living in Barcelona, I started a new enterprise dedicated to translating interesting books about Catalonia into English, so that I could share the place I love with the non-Catalan speaking world. First, I published a collection of essays by long-time Barcelona resident but English son, Matthew Tree, called “Barcelona, Catalonia: A View from the Inside”. And in July, we presented Toni Strubell and Lluís Brunet's, “What Catalans Want”, their brilliant collection of essays of leading Catalan politicians, academics, economists, and media experts on whether Catalonia could be the next new state in Europe.
The other morning I got a call from Muriel Casals, the president of Òmnium Cultural, a Barcelona-based organization dedicated to promoting Catalan language and culture. It turns out that each year, Òmnium holds a grand gala event—La Nit de Santa Llúcia—in which they present the most prestigious book awards in the country.
Imagine my surprise when she told me that one of the prizes was for me, and if I could go to Barcelona to receive it! They are awarding me the "Premi Joan Cendrós" for works about Catalan and Catalonia published outside of Catalonia. I am totally honored and excited.
So, those of you who sometimes get overwhelmed by my Catalan-related tweets, I thank you for your patience. And I hope you have a better understanding of what's going on there. Every country, like every person, deserves to be recognized for who they are. Catalonia is a vibrant, unique place, and it's not Spain.
There's a lot more work to do. I'm not done yet.
Here's a translation of the article on Òmnium Cultural's website: (links added by me :)
The American publisher Catalonia Press has won the 25th Joan B. Cendrós Prize for its books and writings about Catalonia published outside of Catalonia. The prize will be awarded during the 61st Night of Santa Llúcia.
The jury of the 25th Joan B. Cendrós Prize has awarded the prize for her work about Catalonia published outside of Catalonia to the American publisher Liz Castro. Castro, a writer living in Massachusetts, has become known in the last few years for her work promoting Catalonia and talking about its linguistic, cultural, and political situation through her publishing house, Catalonia Press, as well as the internet, where she reports on Catalan news in English.
The jury, consisting of Antoni Bassas, Joan Becat, Laura Cendrós, Josep Gifreu and Vicent Partal, paid particular importance to the various digital books that Catalonia Press has published in order to spread information around the world about the reality of life in Catalonia. In that vein, the jury wanted to highlight the publication this year of “What Catalans Want”, a collection of interviews about the situation in this country, written by Antoni Strubell with photographs by Lluís Brunet, as well as “Barcelona, Catalonia”, by Matthew Tree.
The prize award ceremony will take place on December 20th during the 61st Night of Santa Llúcia in the Auditori de Barcelona [National Theater]. The Festa de les Lletres Catalanes [Catalan Literary Festival], where the winners of the Sant Jordi, Carles Riba, Mercè Rodoreda, Folch i Torres i Joaquim Ruyra prizes will be announced and awarded returns again this year to the Catalan capital with a unique show created and directed by Paco Mir, of the group Tricicle.