1.  I am a little obsessed with language, for example, finding the right word, making the text sound natural and poetic at the same time, choosing the ideal word order, paying attention to sentence length so the text does not sound boring, mixing different textures and language levels to make it richer. It's not my fault, I was not like that as a little girl. It’s because of the work I do, I have been a literary translator for over ten years, and when you spend thousands of hours working with words, you end up going a little crazy.

2.  I am 46 and published my first book when I was 44. You might think that's a bit late, but I think it's perfect, because it gave me the time to live many different lives before becoming a writer (I was a production manager at a prestigious arts festival, for example). Writers are vampires: they suck life, and the more they suck, the more alive they are. At 44, you also have a more solid and comprehensive view of life.  I believe that when we read, we are more interested in perspectives on life than in the stories themselves, which are just an excuse to unfold a personal view of the world.


Author Carlota Gurt Photo © Sergi-Alcazar Alta-01 copia

Author Carlota Gurt Photo © Sergi-Alcazar Alta-01 copia

3.  All authors write according to their character. An author's voice is a part of themselves, just like their feet and their smile. We write out of who we are. People often describe me as intense. I could not agree more, for better or worse. That intensity carries over into my writing. Readers say my style is powerful, engaging, and marked by an infectious and invigorating energy.


4.  For me, reading is a search for solace: the solace of a written world that makes sense, a world inhabited by people (characters) I can understand. Reading literature is also a search for an alternate reality that makes sense.


5.  Alone is my first novel. It's not a sad look at loneliness, it's a novel full of anger, there's some sadness too, but it's an enraged sadness. Besides loneliness, there are many other important themes: life (unbearable), uncertainty and ambiguity, our animality, metaliterature, family and love or lack of love, the mechanisms we use to escape reality (the mind as a survival device).


6.  I'm a Catalan writer, so I come from a culture that was oppressed for years and is now finally blossoming. I'm proud to be part of a new current of Catalan writers who have a fresh view of the world and very compelling and diverse voices that are now being translated into many foreign languages (Eva Baltasar, Pol Guasch, Núria Bendicho, Irene Solà and many others). I'm absolutely thrilled that my novel is coming out in English.


7.  I think good literature is like juggling: You have to master many different things at the same time: Plot (not too heavy, not too light), characters, language, the tension between form and content, and so on. The author walks a tightrope and is always on the verge of falling. Writing is therefore terrifying. Failure is always too close, too possible. So far, I've always made it to the other side.


Meet the Author:

If you would like to see Carlota she is over in the UK w/c 16th April when she will be at the venues below:

Carlota Gurt will be at Ink@84 Bookshop on Tuesday 18 April, in conversation with Viola Di Grado and Emily Rhodes. (ticket only)

On Wednesday 19 April she will be at The European Bookshop, in conversation with Lucy Popescu.

Alone - Carlota Gurt

Translated by Adrian Nathan West

Alone is Carlota Gurts latest novel out on 20 April 2023 / £14.99 / TPB / ISBN: 9781787704435

Synopsis: Mei is a forty-two year-old editor living in Barcelona. After years of unsuccessfully trying to become pregnant, and having grown apart from her husband, she decides to escape her crude reality when she’s made redundant from her job at a publishing house.

When she moves to the cottage where she grew up, hidden in a remote forest of Catalunya, she believes this to be the perfect opportunity to finish the novel she’s been obsessing over. But as she begins writing, or trying to, tragedy hits her and solitude possesses her, forcing her to face her past, an unsolicited present and a future that is adrift.

As Mei’s chance encounters and new relationships with figures from her childhood seem to keep her grounded, the forest and its inhabitants take over her as she fights to finish her novel and attempt to escape solitude unscathed. 

The Author

Carlota Gurt Daví is a writer and translator from Barcelona. In 2019, she won the prestigious Mercè Rodoreda award for her collection of short stories Cabalgar toda la noche. Alone is her first novel. 

Adrian Nathan West grew up in the United States and lives in Spain. He has translated more than twenty books from Spanish, Catalan, and German. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Degradation and My Father’s Diet. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Review of Books, the TLS and many others.  

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