Barcelona, España, 1963 - Barcelona, España , 2008

Francisco Casavella embarked on various university degrees and careers from a young age before deciding to dedicate himself to literature in the early 1980s. His real name was Francisco García Hortelano. His first novel, El triunfo, was awarded the Premio Tigre Juan, receiving praise from critics as a young writer with a great deal of promise. The trilogy El día del Watusi, his most ambitious work, paints a bitter picture of Spain during the Transition. A regular contributor to the newspaper El País, he also wrote the script for the film Antártida (1995), directed by Manuel Huerga. He was awarded the Premio Nadal in 2008 for Lo que sé de los vampiros, the last novel that he published. He died of a heart attack the same year. In 2010, the publishing house Ediciones Destino created the literary prize Premio de novela Francisco Casavella in his honour, replacing the category of “finalist” in the Premio Nadal.

  • “He infused his novels with all of his irony and humour, nobility and dissent. A prose that is, at its heart, moral, sustained by a profound scepticism of human nature, from which humour, rather than love, is one of the escape routes.” Josep Massot, La Vanguardia
  • “Francisco Casavella’s literary legacy is guaranteed.” Times Literary Supplement
    “One of the most talented fiction writers of his generation.” Juan Marsé
  • “Un lujo de nuestras letras”. José María Pozuelo Yvancos, ABC
  • “One of our country’s great storytellers”. Ricardo Senabre, El Mundo

Reffering to El día del Watusi:

  • “With this work, Casavella establishes a strong position among the storytellers that make their novels essential. Without them, the world would be a poorer place; it would have less truth in it.” Enrique Turpín, El Periódico 
  • “The tremendous, critical vision of a sleepwalking city and era.” Ana María Moix, El País
  • “El día del Watusi represents the full validation of this author. With time, he will acquire the weight solely reserved for those books that are a brilliant and enduring reference for subsequent works.” Jesús Martínez Gómez, Quimera
  • “What Casavella achieves in his heroic literature is the revelation of secrets, telling the story of a Barcelona whose existence has been wholly rejected.” Javier Pérez Andújar, El País
  • “A novel whose beginning is inspired by rumour and the ease with which Casavella is able to capture an oral saga, and culminates in a conspiratory world reminiscent of today’s.”Jordi Costa, El País
  • “The perfect antidote to the worst of diseases a society can suffer: self-importance. We believe that we are before the novel of the transition itself.” Andrés Pau, Levante
  •  El día del Watusi is the stark portrait of one of the years that everyone wishes to sweep under the carpet of memory. Only those excluded from history, those who always lose the battles, may appropriate the ‘W’ for Watusi that hovers over the novel.” Joan Riambau, L’Avenç

Bibliography

In his first novel, El Triunfo (awarded the Tigre Juan Prize, adapted for the cinema by Mireia Ros in 2006, recovered by Anagrama and now transformed into a classic in this Cátedra edition), Casavella reinvents hero literature with an audacity and vitality that flees from boredom at all times. El Triunfo is a game of cards in which the die is already cast, the story of a time that has already changed. One generation is affirmed over the other, and youth can only survive by devouring the power and control of old age.

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Novel

Publicada por primera vez en tres volúmenes entre 2002 y 2003, El día del Watusi supuso la consagración de Francisco Casavella como uno de los talentos mayores de nuestras letras. Novela inagotable sobre «los cómos, los porqués, los para qués y los y qués» de la transición española, en palabras del autor, su relectura da por buena la imagen casavelliana del novelista como el guía mestizo de los westerns, aquel que se avanza a la tropa, se expresa en un lenguaje extraño y nos avisa de que las cosas no son lo que parecen.

Recapitulemos. Barcelona, enero de 1995: a Fernando Atienza, un arribista más bien cómico y en las últimas, le encargan un Informe Confidencial acerca de uno de esos personajes oscuros que frecuentan indistintamente las páginas de tribunales y los ecos de sociedad de los periódicos. En un contexto de disolución de la democracia a golpe de escándalos políticos y financieros y de pequeñas y grandes claudicaciones, Atienza se dispone a repasar la historia de su ciudad y de su país. Pero también la de su vida. Todo empezó el 15 de agosto de 1971, el día en que con su amigo Pepito el Yeyé corrió detrás del Watusi por toda Barcelona para avisarle de que lo buscaban por la violación y el asesinato de la hija del cabecilla del barrio.

Francisco Casavella murió repentinamente a los cuarenta y cinco años, en diciembre de 2008, mientras escribía una nueva novela que recuperaba el personaje de Fernando Atienza. Tampoco él había podido abandonar el mundo del Watusi. Y, como el propio Watusi, la gran novela de Francisco Casavella se ha convertido en un auténtico mito. La recuperamos en un volumen, con las últimas correcciones que incorporó el autor y con prólogos de Kiko Amat, Carlos Zanón y Miqui Otero.

“Francisco Casavella’s literary legacy is guaranteed.” Times Literary Supplement

“One of the most talented fiction writers of his generation.” Juan Marsé

“A luxury for our literature." José María Pozuelo Yvancos, ABC 

“With this work, Casavella establishes a strong position among the storytellers that make his novels essential. Without them, the world would be a poorer place; it would have less truth in it.” Enrique Turpín, El Periódico 

“The tremendous, critical vision of a sleepwalking city and era.” Ana María Moix, El País

El día del Watusi represents the full validation of this author. With time, he will acquire the weight solely reserved for those books that are a brilliant and enduring reference for subsequent works.” Jesús Martínez Gómez, Quimera

“What Casavella achieves in his heroic literature is the revelation of secrets that tell the story of a Barcelona whose existence has been wholly rejected.” Javier Pérez Andújar, El País

“A novel whose beginning is inspired by rumour and the ease with which Casavella is able to capture an oral saga, and culminates in a conspiratory world reminiscent of today’s.” Jordi Costa, El País

“The perfect antidote to the worst of diseases a society can suffer: self-importance. We believe that we are before the novel of the transition itself.” Andrés Pau, Levante

“El día del Watusi is the stark portrait of one of the years that everyone wishes to sweep under the carpet of memory. Only those excluded from history, those who always lose the battles, may appropriate the ‘W’ for Watusi that hovers over the novel.” Joan Riambau, L’Avenç

La historia discurre en el siglo XVIII. Martín de Viloalle es el hijo menor de un noble gallego y está destinado a entrar en la Compañía de Jesús desde la cuna. Con un carácter introvertido y esquivo, Martín siente desdén hacia su entorno. La expulsión de los jesuitas de España lo sorprenderá siendo aún novicio. Inexplicablemente, decide seguirlos al exilio. Esta será la primera de sus muchas partidas y afiliaciones, que lo condenarán a una vida precaria y transitoria, a caballo entre la Roma papal, los principados alemanes y el París de la Revolución. 

Esta inquietante novela narra los sucesivos y tronchantes reencuentros del protagonista con su hermano mayor, un jugador ye-yé acosado por el ansia metafísica y por un ejército de matones. El relato engarza trepidantes aventuras, ardides, fugas inverosímiles y multitud de peripecias en el mundo de los bajos fondos. Antonio Chavarrías Ocaña escribió el guión de la película Volverás, basado en esta novela.

 

Heraclitus once said “Character is destiny”, and he was right. Daniel Basanta is weird. He thinks he is weird and everyone else thinks he is weird. His family is weird and his country is even weirder. His moral and emotional education is weird, just like his obsessions: the million Surf-Party arcade machine and the conga. It is weird how he is constantly running away from home and reality. His relationships with girls are weird. His sadness and his happiness are weird. It is also weird to find so much common sense and the weird consequences that come with it. His destiny is not weird at all.

This comedy and pain-filled novel is the story of the weird people in the world; our story. An eccentric and strangely cosmopolitan grandfather, Ta-da women and Ta-da men, that brunette girl from the children’s band “Los Gominolas”, an alcoholic dad drowned in the circumstances, the legendary Mike “Da Cat” Dora, and immature children who announce the cold maliciousness of every single thing, the man who wants to kill “El Pecos”, mystery phone calls, a lion that smells like death, some cows, and three modern men and a couple of priests is the cast of this novel, which, just like any other illusion of that thing they call reality, seems an initiation that, in the end, reveals itself as a culmination.

 “A book that is 100% Casavella: well written, fun, and with the shudder of true literature” Ignacio Vidal-Folch.

“My favourite novel: El secreto de las fiestas. The novel that I have gifted the most in the past ten years… In the entirety of Casavella’s book there is happiness. Happiness as an antidote for all the bad things in life: even when you are neck deep in corruption, you can still find the courage to smile; when it seems like things couldn’t go worse, a rumba starts to play. And El secreto de las fiestas captures that happiness in the best way.” Mario Bravo, Diagonal

“Pure Casavella, with his unique style, his touches of humour and his endearing characters.” El País

“He mixes humour and reflection with great charm… He makes readers enjoy themselves in two different ways, because El secreto de las fiestas complements the usual comical nature of Casavella’s literature with a constructive invitation to reflect about the hard reality of adolescence.” ABC

 “One of the few writers from recent times that has proven that true literature still exists.” Silvia Taulés, El Mundo

 “The literary survival of Francisco Casavella is guaranteed.” Times Literary Supplement

“In the style of a Holden Caulfield from Barcelona and during the 80s, swearing but talking to you—the reader—with respect, Daniel will try to adapt to a city that is evolving faster than he is, and that throws at him love, broken and fake friendships, real school—which is a big lie— and life in general; which is something like dealing with an alcoholic father that knows how to play an instrument better than how to raise a child.” Víctor González, Libros y Literatura.

 

 

Relato ambientado en el mundo de la música pop, narrado con cuñas humorísticas y experimentales.

"Francisco Casavella’s literary legacy is guaranteed." The Times Literary Supplement

In Barcelona during Spain’s transition to democracy, the Raval district is up in arms, fighting for control of the streets. New waves of immigrants, junkies and mafias have turned it into a territory for survivors ruled by Gandhi and his ex-legionnaire friends. Boy, son of a missing singer of whom only past splendour remains, and his friends, Stick, Mole and Toast, dream of success to the rhythm of Catalan rumba. But when Boy discovers the reasons for his father’s disappearance, ignored by the outdated order imposed by the soldiers of the fatherland, he must choose between his desire for revenge and his eagerness to succeed. What might have been an initiation story for Boy and his friends becomes a dangerous coming-of-age tale in which they must choose between dreaming or sleeping, singing or dying. 

In his first novel (awarded the Tigre Juan Prize, adapted for the cinema by Mireia Ros in 2006, recovered by Anagrama and now transformed into a classic in this Cátedra edition), Casavella reinvents hero literature with an audacity and vitality that flees from boredom at all times. El Triunfo is a game of cards in which the die is already cast, the story of a time that has already changed. One generation is affirmed over the other, and youth can only survive by devouring the power and control of old age.

Non-fiction

Reúne diversos trabajos publicados por el autor en diferentes medios, desde revistas de música o de cómic (Cairo, Rock de Lux, Ajoblanco, Co&Co...) hasta los principales suplementos literarios españoles (ABC, El País, El Mundo...). La música, el cine y, sobre todo, la literatura son los temas principales de unos textos que destilan el universo de Casavella.

Prizes

  •  2008 - Premio Nadal for Lo que sé de los vampiros