Bookworm Literary Festival: Jordi Puntí and Owen Martell


The XJTLU is co-sponsoring the Bookworm Literary Festival, one of the most important literary festivals in China. This year marks the 10th Bookworm Literary Festival, which provides a platform for the promotion of great literature and the free and positive exchange of ideas. By the numbers, this year’s BLF is the largest ever, featuring more than 180 writers, thinkers, and performers hailing from over 30 countries. From March 11 to 27, they will converge across three Bookworm cities (Beijing, Chengdu, Suzhou) plus Ningbo and Shanghai to participate in 300-some events, including book talks, panel discussions, performances, and workshops.

XJTLU is hosting a number of events on campus, including this discussion with writers and translators Jordi Puntí and Owen Martell on contemporary literature and the writing life.

Jordi Puntí was born in 1967 and lives in Barcelona. He writes in Catalan and has published two books of short stories: Pell d’armadillo (Armadillo Skin) (1998) and Animals tristos (Sad Animals) (2002). In 2010 he published his first novel, Maletes perdudes (Lost Luggage), which received the National Critics’ Award, El Llibreter Award (booksellers prize), and the prestigious Lletra d’Or, and has been translated into 16 languages. His most recent book is Els castellans (2011), a memoir about the daily life in a Catalan industrial town in the 1970s, focusing on the relationship between Catalan kids and the immigrants arrived from Spain.

Owen Martell was born in 1976 and grew up in Pontneddfechan, South Wales. After studying at Aberystwyth and Oxford universities, he spent a number of years working as a reporter with the BBC. His first Welsh language
novel, Cadw dy ffydd, brawd (Strong and Prophetic), won the Arts Council of Wales' Welsh Book of the Year award in 2001. His second novel, Dyn yr Eiliad (The Other Man), was shortlisted for the same prize in 2004. Dolenni Hud (Welsh Knot) is a collection of short stories in collaboration with photographer Simon Proffitt. His most recent novel, Intermission, is his first book originally written in English; it has been translated into French and German.