Individual residencies / Olot


From Monday, 16 November 2020 to Monday, 23 November 2020



Ada Castells (Barcelona, 1968) is a Catalan writer. Her first novel is El dit de l’Àngel, a realistic and transgressive fiction about her Protestant ancestors, published when she was 27. In 2001 she published Mirada, a novel against the dictatorship of the image. Four years later comes Tota la vida, fictitious biography about German painter Caspar David Friedrich. The next one was Pura Sang: It is set in Minorca and Barcelona and is the story of a woman who is struggling to have no fear of anything. Then, she wrote La Primavera Pendent, a ficcion about Frankenstein, and her last book is Mare, the most autobiographical one, about the relationship with her mother and her daugther. Castells works also as a cultural journalist and as a professor of Creative Writing.


My goal during my stay in Faber is to continue with the project of a new novel about the escape from the city. Mein caracters are a family from Barcelona who isolates themselves in an abandoned farmhouse to leave the pandemic behind. Living a few days in a rural setting will allow me to go deeper into the feeling of being out of place. That is why I also want to make a public reading of the completed chapters and generate a debate on how the people of the region see this "invasion" of those who come from the city.

Collecting ideas among the beech trees

I had been wanting to do a writer's residency at Faber Olot for years and fate (or my very active guardian angel) made this wish come true the third week of November 2020, at a time when Covid-19 had us all separated. For those of us living in the city, contact with nature was an increasingly pressing need for our physical and mental wellbeing. Fate (or my angel, okay) also had it that I was just at a point in my new novel that I needed to be in a rural setting. Fragilitats , if that's what I end up calling it, is the story of a family in Barcelona that flees the city due to a pandemic and starts to discover that the countryside isn't as idyllic as it seems. Thanks to my time at Faber, I got the chance to breathe in that countryside that, I must confess, I still find idyllic, possibly because of the conditions at Hotel Riu Fluvià. During my week-long residency, I also got to speak with the Argelaguer Town Council to set up a date to do a reading and debate with people who have had the same experience as my characters: urban refugees who have discovered the reality of living in a small town in La Garrotxa. The most unexpected discovery was wandering through two very inspiring beech forests: La fageda d'en Jordà, well known thanks to Maragall and nearly empty thanks to corona, and La fageda de la Grevolosa, which is so difficult to find. The latter is calling out for a famous poem. I wouldn't be surprised if a Faber resident wrote it one day. For now, I only dare to put the first verse out there: “Do you know where to find La fageda de la Grevolosa?” The rest, I'll leave for now and carry on with this running start to finish Fragilitats.

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