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Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 18 July 2019

As I started working in the publishing world at a very early age, combining it with my philology studies, I have a lot of memories of these events that there were authors such as Eduardo Mendoza, who I admired because I read his book at school, SIN NOTICIAS DE GURB. Or when I talked to Juan José Millas, whose books fascinated me (LA SOLEDAD ERA ESTA or EL DESORDEN DE TU NOMBRE). Or when I lived in first person the success of Laura Esquivel’s first novel COMO AGUA PARA CHOCOLATE.

All beginnings can only be lived with illusion. When you do something that you like, being able to be next to people you admire and who are idols for you, it’s like a dream to devote yourself to that precious value that books are. And even though I’ve been involved in this world for 28 years now, I’m still thrilled to be able to represent authors who have been an influence to me, as is the case of Maria Barbal.

An affectionate woman, and one of the best writers in Catalan, comparable to Mercè Rodoreda or Montserrat Roig. Her longseller PEDRA DE TARTERA has been translated into 15 languages and constantly being republished because it has been compulsory reading in schools (sixty printings in catalan!). Perhaps reading a book because is compulsory is not the best thing, but whoever does not discover Maria Barbal at first, will do it later if they value good literature. And a good opportunity is reading her new novel TO MY SCOTTISH FRIEND.

The idyllic landscapes of the Lleida Pyrenees and Benet’s youthful ambition to fall in love and make a living off his drawings give him plenty to dream about, but, like most people, he is forced to reconcile his hopes and dreams with the demands of reality and the expectations of his family. Caught in the middle of his parents’ marital strife and constantly on the move to find work, Benet struggles to find his place in the world. The delicate strings that hold Benet’s life together will finally be blown apart by the onset of civil war in 1936, when everything is turned upside down. However, in Benet’s darkest hour, when he is reeling from an injury from the front, he will meet George, an outspoken Scotsman, whose friendship will be Benet’s only consolation in his battle to overcome the physical and psychological trauma of war. Though fleeting, Benet’s time together with George will leave a lasting impression on him, and he will carry the memory of his Scottish friend, and the war they fought in, with him forever.

To My Scottish Friend is a story about friendship, love, war, memory, and regret.

In summary, it is an honour to be able to have such prestigious writers in the agency and to try to promote their work internationally, which is not easy. But when something is good we can’t give up, because I firmly believe that every good book has a good publisher. Our mission is to find him so that the books of this great Catalan author can be reached all over the world.

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