Jorge Carrión was born in Tarragona in 1976. He holds a degree in Humanities from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, where he teaches contemporary literature and is the director of the master course of creative writing. He writes for The New York Times in Spanish and as well as for various Spanish and Latin American journals, such as El País, La Vanguardia and Arcadia.
His novel Los Muertos won the Festival de Chambéry in 2011. His book Librerías was second in the Anagrama Award for Essays 2013 and has been sold to sixteen languages. It is in its seventh edition in Spanish and has sold 20,000 copies.
In his new book Barcelona: Book of Passageways (“Barcelona. Libro de los pasajes”), Jorge Carrión invites us to stroll through the streets of Barcelona and especially its passageways, those elements of urban life that bring people together and contain hidden stories. The author wanders around the city, speaks with passers-by and the inhabitants of the passagaways. He rediscovers historical characters and stories that have contributed to the development of the city. Carrión tells us about Barcelona, but in reality he is talking about urban spaces all around the world, and the book is also in some ways a tribute to Italo Calvino’s "Invisible Cities".
In the graphic novel Barcelona. Scrap Heap Tramps (“Barcelona. Los vagabundos de la chatarra”), Jorge Carrion and Sagar Forniés, author and illustrator, perform a work of investigative journalism leading them to the world of scrap. They witness the daily struggle for survival of many people, often illegals, in an industry increasingly coveted by large companies that have the support of the municipal authorities. This novel allows several readings: it is a factual account of the metal recycling industry, an urban portrait with precariousness as its protagonist, a tourist counter-guide, and an essay on the miseries of the “Barcelona” trademark. Scrap dealers are the central characters of this true story that represents universal arguments: imbalances and injustices in the world.
Barcelona. Scrap Heap Tramps deserves to be added to the canon of great comic journalism up there with work by Joe Sacco and Guy Delisle. Highly recommended.
Peter Kuper, American Cartoonist
In The Deceased (“Los difuntos”), Jorge Carrión tells the prequel to The Dead (“Los muertos”), set in a fictional 19th century New York City. In this society where technological progress reigns, “new ones” are enslaved in order to ensure the working of the steam machines. With time, they will climb the social ladder and become the “old ones”. In this scenario the philosophical ideals of Dionysos and Apollo materialize in the main character, who will battle against the decadence of progress and the oppression it generates. Jorge Carrión brilliantly narrates this tale about the search for identity and purpose set in a fictional world that is in many ways much like ours - from the alienation of the human being in a technological world, to the high price the “new ones” are willing to pay for the American dream.
Jorge Carrión’s book Bookshops (“Librerías”) is a survey of the history of bookstores all over the world, their relationships with writers and how they became the center pieces of culture and political resistance, making a trip through the history of the book trade from Ancient Rome to the 21st century. Nostalgic yet demystifying, this extraordinary book is the result of many readings, researches and visits to bookstores on the five continents, veering between cultural critique and travel chronicle. Librerías has come second in the prestigious Anagrama Award for Essays and is now in its 4th edition with 10,000 copies sold in Spain. English world rights have been sold to MacLehose Press.
If there were bookshops in the Antarctic, no doubt Carrión would have would have visited them to tell us what the penguins read.
A book like a treasure hunt!
A nomad, an itinerant reader fascinated by the stores where culture meets economics, Carrión has reconstructed the map of bookshop locations all over the world, together with the philosophy of these temples of culture.
A book that immediately captivates the reader’s own emotional memory.
Throughout its highly erudite pages, Jorge Carrión expresses his love for literature and libraries in a singular work that is sometimes an essay, sometimes a chronicle and sometimes a travelogue.
With this extraordinary survey of bookshops all around the world, Jorge Carrión has succeeded in portraying the home of books.
In his cleverly construed novel The Footprints (“Las huellas”), the author brings a number of essential topics like identity and human relationships together with moments in time and space, keeping the reader glued to the page. Reminiscent of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, Las huellas features a suggestive plot and vivid characters that make us question the future of our planet.
A subterranean labyrinth in which the reader easily loses himself.
This second novel confirms the unique talent and unlimited curiosity of an author whose achievements measure up to his ambitions.
An ingenious and captivating text that keeps surprising the reader and doubtlessly reclaims the pleasure of reading.
The Footprints (“Las huellas”), project consisting of:
The Dead (“Los muertos”)
Barcelona/Buenos Aires: Mondadori 2010, 2011; Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2014, 224 p.
English sample translation available
France: Seuil ● Italy: Atmosphere 2012 ● Mexico: Mondadori 2011 ● Venezuela: Lugar Común
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2014, 255 p.
France: Seuil 2017
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2015, 256 p.
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg
Canada: Biblioasis (incl. USA rights)
Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2017, 340 p.
Madrid:Anagrama 2013, 320 p.
Second place in the Anagrama Award for Essays 2013
Already 20,000 copies sold in Spanish language!
Audio book: Storyside ● Argentina: Anagrama 2013 ● Brasil: Bazar do Tempo 2018 ● Canada: Biblioasis 2017 (incl. USA rights) ● China: SDX 2018 ● France: Seuil 2016 ● Greece: Potamos ● Italy: Garzanti 2015 ● Japan: Hakusuisha ● Korea: Yibom ● Mexico: Anagrama 2013 ● Poland: Noir sur Blanc 2017 ● Portugal: Quetzal 2017 ● Russia: Ad Marginem ● Slovenia: Cankarjeva Zalozba ● Sweden: Storyside ● UK: MacLehose Press 2016
Madrid: Errata Naturae 2011, 232 p.
Argentina: Interzona 2014 ● Costa Rica: Germinal 2013 ● México: Tintable 2015
Viaje contra Espacio.
Juan Goytisolo y W.G. Sebald
Madrid/Frankfurt: Iberoamericana/Vervuert 2009, 187 p.
Barcelona. Scrap Heap Tramps (“Barcelona. Los vagabundos de la chatarra”)
Together with illustrator Sagar Forniés
Barcelona: Norma 2015, 104 p.
The Deceased (“Los difuntos”)
Badajoz: Aristas Martínez 2015, 107 p.
Travel literature (selection):
Norte es Sur. Crónicas americanas
Caracas: Venezuela Debate 2009, 186 p.
Madrid/Barcelona 1995 -2010
Madrid/Frankfurt: Iberoamericana/Vervuert 2009, 285 p.
Australia. Un viaje
Córdoba: Berenice 2008, 270 p.
English sample translation available
Participation in Anthologies:
Crossing Barcelona. Literarische Streifzüge durch die Hauptstadt Kataloniens
München: Sammlung Luchterhand 2007
(Short Story: El Grito. Días Extraños en Territorio Neruda)