As the curtain falls on another wonderful year, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the milestones that shaped 2023, celebrating achievements and setting the stage for an exciting new year ahead.
Two Pontas authors were the recipients of major literary awards in 2023. Peruvian author Gustavo Rodríguez won the prestigious Spanish-language Alfaguara Prize, for his most recent novel, Cien cuyes (One Hundred Guinea Pigs). The panel of judges, presided by renowned Argentinian writer Claudia Piñeiro, highlighted the author’s literary skill and humor, which frame this moving book about old age and dignity. Cien cuyes was published in all Spanish-speaking territories by Alfaguara/PRH on March 23rd 2023.
As for Mallorcan author Laura Gost, she was the recipient of one of the most prestigious awards in Catalan literature, the Proa Novel Award, for her third novel, Les cendres a la piscina (The Ashes in the Pool), which was published by Proa on November 15th 2023 in the original Catalan. The judges praised the author’s handling of characters, her ironic style, and called the novel a step forward in Laura Gost’s career.
Another book that got wonderful recognition in 2023 was Jill Johnson’s first mystery book, Devil’s Breath, which was selected to be featured on the BBC’s coveted book club Between the Covers, hosted by Sara Cox. If you’re in the UK, you can watch the full episode here. Devil’s Breath was published by Black & White Publishing/Bonnier UK in July 2023 and the novel will also be published in June 2024 in the US with Poisoned Pen Press/Sourcebooks under the title The Woman in the Garden.
In more specific end-of-the-year news, Priya Hein's Riambel and Ennatu Domingo's Burnt Eucalyptus Wood, both debuts, were both included in Brittle Paper's "Notable African Books of 2023" list. Every year, Brittle Paper strives to highlight the most impactful African books to show the world the wealth of literary expression coming from African authors and introduce readers to books from under-represented parts of the continent.
Perséphone, by Benjamin Carteret, was acquired by Charleston/Leduc at auction and will be published as a major lead title for 2024 on March 20th. Pocket rights have already been sold to Livre de Poche (also at auction) and all translation and audiovisual rights are currently available. Read more about the book here.
Le verger de Damas (An orchard in Damascus), the debut novel by journalist Camille Neveux, will be published on April 3rd 2024 by JC Lattès, who acquired it at auction. Le verger de Damas is multi-generational family drama and coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Arab Spring and Syrian Revolution, inspired by the author’s husband’s family story. All translation and audiovisual rights are currently available. Read more about the book here.
This 2023 we have celebrated that The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo, the first novel of the Baztán Trilogy (followed by The Legacy of the Bones and Offering to the Storm) was published ten years ago (in January 2013) and that it has become the most important Spanish literary phenomenon in recent years. Translated into thirty-eight languages worldwide and adapted into three movies that are available on Netflix, the crime novels that conform the Baztán Trilogy have reached more than four million loyal readers around the globe. Also this 2023 we have celebrated that Dolores Redondo’s latest novel, Esperando al diluvio (Awaiting the Flood), was at the top of the bestselling lists in Spain for months (with translation rights sold into nine languages so far and audiovisual rights also sold).
Despite these achievements, 2023 was also greatly marked by the passing of dear Pontas client Ramón Lobo, one of the best European war correspondents of his generation, who passed away on August 2nd 2023 in Madrid at the age of 68. For many years, Ramón Lobo worked for Spain’s newspaper El País, covering the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Lebanon, Haiti, Rwanda, Serbia, Congo, Sierra Leone and more. The void he left is too big. But he also leaves us his books (some of them pictured below), humor, his integrity, and his wisdom imbedded in his writing. We will continue to miss him dearly. In the picture below, Ramón Lobo and Anna Soler-Pont in Madrid in one of their many meetings over the years.
Watch this space for news about new books and clients in 2024. We’ll be sharing more about upcoming publications very soon. Get ready for new titles by Musih Tedji Xaviere, Olivier Truc, Jill Johnson, and many more…
Happy New Year!