Jaume Cabré is an essential author in contemporary Catalan literature. For many years he combined his literary work with teaching and writing film and television scripts. His literary work is mainly novels and short stories, but he has also had plays published, as well as several books of reflections on writing and reading. His work, with titles such as La telaranya, Fray Junoy o l'agonia dels sons, Llibre de preludis, Senyoria, Les veus del Pamano and Jo confesso, and Viatge d’hivern, a book of short stories, has been translated in over twenty countries and has been an overwhelming success in Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands, making him one of the most important authors on the current literary landscape.
- “Jo confesso, by Jaume Cabré, the Catalan author, is a monumental novel” Osvaldo Gallone, Clarín
- “Exceptional.” Sam Abrams, El Mundo
- “Absolutely captivating.” Andrea Camilleri
- “Hitting the jackpot with Confessions, Cabré’s is a story of European history from the Inquisition to Auschwitz.” Le Figaro
- “Jaume Cabré deserves to be recognized as what he is, one of the greatest authors in world literature.” Qué Leer
Cabré's reflections on reading, writing, music and art gathered in a single volume.
Jaume Cabré conceives literature as a search. Throughout the years, this search has been generating doubts in him, testing him and even setting traps for him. From the knowledge of someone who has been giving answers and solutions to the creative process for decades, Cabré has written three testimonial and theoretical texts that are a treasure for any lover of literature and art. They are texts written with the complicity of those who recognize themselves, above all, as a reader, as a listener, as a spectator.Read more
Short stories and novellas
Books for children and young readers
Anthology / Selection
The Athens Prize for Literature for the Best Work of Fiction Translated into Greek 2017; Stockholm Kulturhuset Stadsteatern International Literature Prize 2017; Prix Jean Morer des Vendanges Littéraires de Rivesaltes 2014; Prix Courrier International du meilleur roman étranger 2013; Premi de la Crítica Catalana 2012
At 60, Adrià Ardèvol re-examines his life before his memory is systematically deleted. He recalls a loveless childhood where the family antique business and his father's study become the centre of his world; where a treasured Storioni violin retains the shadows of a crime committed many years earlier. His mother, a cold, distant and pragmatic woman leaves him to his solitary games, full of unwanted questions. An accident ends the life of his enigmatic father, filling Adrià's world with guilt, secrets and deeply troubling mysteries that take him years to uncover and driving him deep into the past where atrocities are methodically exposed and examined. Gliding effortlessly between centuries, and at the same time providing a powerful narrative that is at once shocking, compelling, mysterious, tragic, humorous and gloriously readable, Confessions reaches a crescendo that is not only unexpected but provides one of the most startling dénouements in contemporary literature.
Drawing comparisons with Shadow of the Wind, The Name of the Rose and The Reader, and an instant bestseller in more than 25 languages, Confessions is an astonishing story of one man's life, interwoven with a narrative that stretches across centuries to create an addictive and unforgettable literary symphony.
“Absolutely captivating.” Andrea Camilleri
"Its complexity turns Confessions into a piece of writing that has the power to influence our view of the world –a quality belonging to the best of literature. It is one of the best novels of the last decade" El Mundo
"Jaume Cabré deserves to be recognized for what he is, one of the greats of world literature." Jordi Cervera, Qué Leer
"A work of art more than a novel." Le Point
“Hitting the jackpot with Confessions, Cabré’s is a story of European history from the Inquisition to Auschwitz.” Le Figaro
"The narrative unfolds with suc creativity and mastery ... perfection from an author who has reached the very highest level of excellence in his craft. This book has earned its place alongside the classics." Joan Josep Isern
«Macondo is in the Pyrenees.» Die Welt
Tina, a peaceful teacher and photographer who works at a school in Sort, takes some photographs of an old school building in the village of Torena that is about to be demolished. A simple gesture. Click. And that's it. The reader will discover page by page, the consequences of this seemingly banal fact. The forties, the Maquis, the moral misery of Francoism, the personal and collective cowardices, the most unthinkable acts of heroism that occurred in the ‘Pallaresos’ Pyrenees since the Franco troops swept that area with unusual ferocity during the civil war. The efforts to forget, or stubbornly recall the events, lead to the beginning of the twenty-first century and interpelate the characters who, after so long, decide to show the history. The extraordinary personal adventure of Oriol Fontelles and Elisenda Vilabrú, the affairs of Tina Bros, the uniqueness of Jaume Serrallac and the drama of Ventureta has conquered the readers of Europe.
"With strength, irony, pain and passion, page after page, playing fearfully with temporary plans and changes of narrative points of view, Cabré forces you to enter the labyrinth of the destinies of his heroes... " Giancarlo De Cataldo, L’Unitá
"What marks the difference is the sharp and poetical writing of Cabré, the precision and sharpness with which it treats clearly melodramatic "raw material", and above all his ability to forge narration in unusual and complex forms, to organize wisely the coming and going of the characters between past and present, to interweave memories, voices, suspicions and secrets, and to make them fit together with different stories. A novel that is not only read eagerly but is read again, as always with good books." Francesca Lazzarato, Il Manifesto
"Without a doubt, The voices of Pamano is one of the greatest novels of this year." Roman Rhode, Der Tagesspiegel
"Jaume Cabré is a master of drama [...] Cabré's book is at the height of modern classics." Nicole Rodríguez Cárdenas, hr-online.de
"Above all, Cabré is an expert in the breaks of narration, in the dizzying change between narrative plans and situations." Kersten Knipp, Lesezeichen
Alban Berg said it in the concerto for violin and orchestra. Jaume Cabré says it in this novel.
The principal character, Miquel Gensana, a man pushing fifty, wonders whether there is any meaning to what he has done in his life. The time span of the novel covers a dinner with a girl in his family home in Feixes, now converted into a restaurant. And it is during this dinner that Miquel asks himself “at what moment did his life fall apart” and follows this with a lucid review of his past.
Miquel Gensana belongs to the generation that lived through the political activism of the 1960s, the clandestine opposition to the Franco regime. Now, after the transition that brought a return to democracy in Spain, distance allows him an ironic look at those past events. Deeply unsatisfied, and with a permanently sad expression, Gensana is also of an amorous nature but has little success with women. He could redeem himself through art, but he feels the frustration of someone who is not a creator but merely a critic. He would like to be the poet, the novelist, the musician – the artist reviewed – but he feels perpetually sterile because “when he looks back, the critic sees a eunuch’s shadow”, in the words of Georges Steiner.
Winter of 1799. It does not stop raining in Barcelona and the city seems paralyzed, but the frivolous life of the Bourbon aristocracy continues its course. Their only concern seems to be to celebrate the turn of the century: Te Deum in the cathedral, receptions in luxurious halls…
Then, the murder of a French singer moves the townspeople and the high society. A suspect is arrested, a young poet who finds himself in the wrong place at the most inopportune moment, and he is found guilty, all the more when documents that may lead to the downfall of "his lordship" Don Rafael Massó are discovered in his possession. Massó is the highest judicial authority in Catalonia, which has just occupied the position of civilian regent of the Royal Audience of Barcelona. He is a man with the power to forgive or sentence to life the mistakes of others, which, on his part, has a weakness: his passion for beautiful women.
To the innocence of a defendant deprived of his right to defend himself, we can add the guilt and corruption of his lordship, who, himself, has a lot to hide. An overwhelming novel that is an impressive reflection on power, justice and human passions.
"This novel, read in the manner of classic novels, deals with the relationship between the individual and the power, about crime and punishment, and about the infinite banality of mobiles that desire power. On the pretext of a fiction, a historical-political novel, Cabré, aware of the depths of the soul and possessor of an outbursting mood, presents life built on the lies of the individual who has reached a high position, his secret and gross desires, his vanity, his maliciousness, his corruption, and his unscrupulous ambition." Europa Könyvkiado
Fra Junoy, an organist relegated to confessor of a monastery of nuns, is accused of heresy, vice and corruption. He has manifested his opposition of the severe punishment that the Mother Superior has imposed on two novices, suffocated by solitude and the rigidity of the convent rules. The ecclesiastical hierarchy does not forgive nor tolerate the comprehensive attitude of the confessor and even less his freedom of judgement.
Music is one of the greatest spiritual riches of Fra Junoy, his intimate, personal and creative island, but it will also become one of his most serious crimes. The very hard rigor of intolerance falls on those who honestly bear their heart.
The Spider's Web (La teranyina) is the short story of the plotting and the movements calculated by the members of Rigau to conquer power at the factory and control the family.
The Rigau family is a reference to Vallès, in the village of Feixes specifically. This illustrious family, who have made a lot of money devoting themselves to the textile world, have a factory called Vapor Rigau and a handful of conveniently exploited workers.
It turns out that the head of the family and their business, the big boss, is Francesc Rigau, lazy and useless, and unfortunately for everybody else, passes away leaving the house, inheritance and business at the hands of his brother Julià, a professional good-for-nothing. It is clear that Vapor Rigau will soon stop smoking!
The third one in discord is the sister, Mrs. Mercè Rigau, a woman eternally dressed in rigorous black, with an emerald on her chest as a sign of distinction. La Mercè spends the days confiding her sorrows in her friend, Madroneta, and above all, confessing to Father Vicenç.
Mercè and Julià hate eachother to death. The first one is desperate due to the mismanagement that Julià makes of the legacy left by Francesc – she is a determined woman! - and she is clear about what must be put in order in the disaster that keeps on provoking.
The madness blows up and it is done in the form of an order to make clothes for the soldiers who have to go, by force, to the war in Morocco.
Suddenly, the walls of the Rigau Steam Factory are decorated with paintings that don´t turn out very well for Lord Julià. In addition, someone has taken care to set fire to the clothes so that the order does not move forward.
Around this group, there are other characters who introduce some salty ingredients to a very intricate story.
A novel that opens the cycle of Feixes - which continues with Fra Junoy o l’agonia dels sons and Llibre de preludis that presents thoughts on the erotic power and the pleasure of controlling the lives of the closest people around, including relatives, in a wise combination of intrigue, surprise, enigma and the complications of an unrepeatable historical frame: Setmana Tràgica (Tragic Week, 25 July to 2 August 1909).
Novela de Cabré en la que, por primera vez, aparece de forma evidente el tema de la música y, por extensión, el del valor de la creación en general.
What do you expect from a character called Barringa Barranga? This is a woman who, when she retired a long time ago, got into the habit of chewing Arbequine olives.
Short stories and novellas
With Cabré’s usual mastery and unmistakable confessional tone, the stories in Quan arriba la penombra flirt with the spirit of the noir novel and the pattern of classic cinema. The scenes of his crimes are inhabited by people who have lost faith and confess to being anguished, empty and resentful. They are all unforgettable characters who live in the strange innocence of maturity with the smile of crime on their faces. In these thirteen stories, we find a good number of objects and symbols that comprise a sort of tapestry of the aesthetics of evil. Men who walk into paintings, paintings that regurgitate men. Vile characters, respectable frauds who live imprisoned in the past by guilt or revenge. Art collectors, sheep thieves, bounty hunters and low-life criminals. Characters condemned t o an outcome in which the only possible backdrop is death. None of them have a place reserved in Paradise.
“How High the Twilight compiles thirteen masterful stories, which contain the life and death of men without morals, without perspectives other than those provided by a fate that is in no one's side but that likes to play at ruining anonymous lives. And perhaps, when reading this book, we also run the risk of being kidnapped by the hypnotic aspect of Antonello da Messina's painting on the cover. He is the person who looks at us as we read stories of men and women without a future. It's the author's stare.” Giovanni Canadè, Temporali Modulations
“Cabré has a great sense of humor, and he knows how to move between the present and the past, between the ordinary and the fantastic. […] This is a book that requires our full attention and that concerns us all.” Gianni Montieri, Doppiozero
“Cabré semble avoir appris l’art de la nouvelle à l’école des Borges et Bioy Casares. Moins métaphysicien, plus soucieux d’efficacité narrative que le duo argentin, il excelle à assembler de petites machines infernales qui font, avec une sorte de gaîté macabre, voler en éclat logique, morale, lois du récit... Cabré est un terroriste de la nouvelle, et, plus généralement, tout le recueil est une variation, espiègle et virtuose, sur les liens entre l’art et le crime.” Damien Aubel, Transfuge
« L’un des écrivains les plus farceurs et les mieux dotés de la Catalogne, disons même de l’Espagne.» Albert Bensoussant, En attendant Nadeau
« Conteur virtuose capable de jouer du contre-pied, Jaume Cabré ne hausse jamais le ton et s’amuse à pousser le bouchon toujours un peu plus loin. Le résultat s’avère aussi glaçant que réjouissant » Alexandre Fillon, Le Figaro Littéraire
« Cabré, (…), confirme par ailleurs ici sa capacité à faire résonner les différentes nouvelles entre elles, comme il l’avait déjà réussi dans Voyage d’hiver (…), par de plaisants jeux d'échos, et à faire des oeuvres d’art qu’il met en scène de passionnants prolongements de la vie terrestre. » Ariane Singer, Le Monde des Livres
« Comme Voyage d'hiver, ce nouvel opus est bien ficelé : des personnages croisés au début du recueil reviennent vers la fin, et un subtil système d'échos traverse l'ensemble, installant le lecteur dans une architecture qui séduit par sa complexité. Une incitation renouvelée à découvrir l'oeuvre romanesque. » Didier Garcia, Le Matricule des Anges
« Mises en abyme, échos, jeux sur le double, Jaume Cabré déploie toute sa virtuosité pour offrir au lecteur un panorama de la banalisation du mal. » Aline Sirba, On L’a lu
Cuento incluido en la antología Domèstics i salvatges. Deu contes d'animals.
Han sido los aliados imprescindibles de los héroes de ayer y objeto de la ternura de los personajes de novela de hoy. Pueden ayudar a encontrar la clave de un crimen abominable o servir de puente hacia la fantasía... Mimosos o crueles, salvajes o domésticos, los animales más diversos se han infiltrado en los cuentos de diez narradores catalanes: B. Porcel, M.A. Oliver, J. Cabré, V. Puig, V. Vidal, M. Domínguez, A. Villaró, J. Llavina, T. Sala, E. Piquer.
With this highly original collection of short stories, Catalonian writer Jaume Cabré takes his place among the masters of the form. In Winter Journey, the reader encounters disparate and often desperate characters —pianist, cuckold, whore, organ builder, rabbi, priest, scholar, thief, hitman, madman, Holocaust survivor, oligarch, failed artist— who challenge notions about will, morality, and “the riddle of existence.” This is not a selection of individual stories, but a singularly brilliant and enigmatic narrative, novelistic in its approach, with mysterious connections linking characters, objects, and ideas across time and place. The text takes the form of a Schubertian musical progression in prose, a philosophical mystery moving freely through a labyrinth of centuries and cities, historical and contemporary.
Richly allusive with its themes and motifs of music and art, Winter Journey will continue to provoke questions long after the reader has closed the book.
What can happen in a spa when an ex-novice, an apprentice vampire and Claude Debussy, who was only there for a rest, meet each other? And other stories.
Collection of short stories with which the author became known and won the Prize Víctor Català in 1973.
Ha muerto el Papa Luna, el último pontífice, para muchos, de la causa de Aviñón. En el castillo de Peníscola, los auténticos cardenales de la cristiandad buscan sucesor. En el exterior estalla la tormenta...
Cabré's reflections on reading, writing, music and art gathered in a single volume.
Jaume Cabré conceives literature as a search. Throughout the years, this search has been generating doubts in him, testing him and even setting traps for him. From the knowledge of someone who has been giving answers and solutions to the creative process for decades, Cabré has written three testimonial and theoretical texts that are a treasure for any lover of literature and art. They are texts written with the complicity of those who recognize themselves, above all, as a reader, as a listener, as a spectator. The volume gathers three previous books by Jaume Cabré: The Meaning of Fiction, The Matter of Spirit and Uncertainties, is preceded by a prologue by the scholar Sam Abrams, and incorporates an onomastic index and a thematic index.
Una reflexión sobre el hecho creativo y los interrogantes que el autor ha encontrado a lo largo de su trayectoria literaria.
After El sentit de la ficció (The Meaning of Fiction), focused on writing, it was time for the author to reflect on a crucial matter for the novelist: reading.
A reflection of the author about his own creative process.
Books for children and young readers
A tender an adorable story that Jaume Cabré wrote to his granddaugther Mariona. Illustrated by Romina Martí.
Mariona decides to get into the Land of Stories with her cat in order to solve a problem: herons have been stealing the shadows of the living creatures to feed Miss Eatnights. People and animals are extremely tired with no shadows, so Mariona decides to convince Miss Eatnights to stop doing so.
Illustrated by Romina Martí.
Peter has lost his truck… Who will help him find it? Peter has left out of his home in the middle of the night in search of his fire truck and he has gone deep into the woods. Some animals stare at him: an owl, a squirrel and a hedgehog... What will he have to do to get his fire truck back?
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà.
Cuando el Alción decidió dejar la selva y conocer el mundo, tuvo que aprender mucho sobre las costumbres del frío y el calor en nuestro país ya que, en la selva, el tiempo siempre era el mismo. Con ilustraciones de Pep Boatella.
Los arqueólogos hallan, en Vilanova de Sau, un esqueleto de la época del neolítico. Los niños del pueblo se interesan por el hallazgo. Pero alguien más también se interesa... Ilustraciones de Ismael Balanyà.
¿Qué puede hacer un chico de ahora que, de repente, se encuentra en la Barcelona de 1714 en pleno bombardeo de la ciudad? ¡Qué sabía, el pobre!
The legendary bandit of Els Rasos, feared by some, admired by others both for his aggression and for his military talent, can't tell anyone that, basically, he is scared.
Anthology / Selection
An anthology of stories on a musical theme taken from Llibre de preludis (Book of Preludes) and Viatge d'hivern (Winter Journey). Edited by Maria del Roser Trilla.
- Ventdelpla. Biblia 2a temporada telenovela. Con Jordi Calafí y Núria Parera. 2005
- Nautes. Telefilm. 2004
- Nines russes. Telefilm. 2003
- Sara. Telefilm. 2003
- Crims. Serie TV. Creación y dirección de guionistas (Jaume Cabré i Manel Bonany). 2000
- Estació d'enllaç. Serie TV. Creación (con Joaquim M.Puyal) y dirección de guionistas. 1994-1998
- Havanera. Film. En colaboración con Jaume Fuster, Vicenç Villatoro y Antoni Verdaguer. 1993
- La teranyina. Film. En colaboración con Jaume Fuster, Vicenç Villatoro y Antoni Verdaguer. 1990
- La granja. Serie TV. Creación (con Joaquim M.Puyal) y dirección guionistas.1989-1992
- Fins que la mort ens separi. Radionovela. 1989
- La teranyina. Radionovela. 1988
- La dama blanca. Telefilm. 1987
- Estimada Loreto. Telefilm (Guión de Marta Balletbó-Coll sobre un relato de Jaume Cabré). 1986
Prizes for his body of work:
- 2019 - Premi Nacional de Cultura per la Generalitat de Catalunya
- 2017 - Premi a la Trajectòria de La Setmana del Llibre en Català
- 2016 - Prix Ulysse à l'ensemble de son oeuvre, Festival Arte-Mare, Bastia, Corsica
- 2015 - Premio de Honor de la Plaça del Llibre de València
- 2014 - Creu de Sant Jordi
- 2013 - Premio Socarrat Major
- 2010 - 42nd Premi d'Honor de les Lletres Catalanes
- 2003 - Premio Jaume Fuster dels Escriptors Catalans
Prizes for a specific work:
- 2018 - National Translation Award from the Greek Ministry of Culture for Evriviadis Sofos for the translation Jo confesso.
- 2017 - The Athens Prize for Literature for the Best Work of Fiction Translated into Greek for Jo confesso
- 2017 - Stockholm Kulturhuset Stadsteatern International Literature Prize for Jo confesso
- 2014 - Prix Jean Morer des Vendanges Littéraires de Rivesaltes for Jo confesso
- 2013- Premi Ciutat de Barcelona a la Projecció Internacional de la Ciutat;
- 2013 - Prix Courrier International du meilleur roman étranger for Jo confesso
- 2012 - Premi Joan Crexells de l'Ateneu Barcelonès; Premio La Tormenta en un vaso; Premi de Narrativa Maria Àngels Anglada; Premi de la Crítica Serra d'Or; Premi de la Crítica Catalana; for Jo confesso
- 2007 - Premio de Novel·la Setè Cel for Les veus del pamano
- 2005 - Premi de la Crítica Catalana for Les veus del pamano
- 2004 - Prix Méditerranée for the best foreign novel Senyoria (Honour)
- 2001 - Premi de la Crítica Serra d'Or for Viatge d'hivern
- 1999 - Premi Fundació Enciclopèdia Catalana for Viatge d'hivern
- 1997 - Premi Ciutat de Barcelona; Premi Lletra d'Or; Premi de la Crítica Serra d'Or; for L'ombra de l'eunuc
- 1992 - Premio de la Crítica Catalana; Premio Prudenci Bertrana awarded by readers and critics; Premi de la Crítica Serra d'Or; for Senyoria
- 1991 - Premi dels Lectors from the magazine El Temps; Premi Joan Crexells de l'Ateneu Barcelonès; for Senyoria
- 1985 - Premi de la Crítica Catalana; Premi de la Crítica Serra d'Or; for Fra Junoy o l'agonia dels sons
- 1983 - Premi Prudenci Bertrana, for Fra Junoy o l'agonia dels sons
- 1983 - Premi Sant Jordi, for La teranyina
- 1981 - Premi Crítica Serra d'Or, for La història que en Roc Pons no coneixia
- 1980 - Premio Fastenrath, for Carn d'olla
- 1977 - Premi Joaquim Ruyra, for Galceran, l'heroi de la guerra negra
- 1973 - Premi Víctor Català for Faules de mal desar