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Mathias Énard

Writer, translator and intellectual

A French writer and translator, he studied Arabic and Persian and spent long periods in the Middle East. In 2000, he chose Barcelona as his city of residence. He was a lecturer in Arabic at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, a member of the editorial board of the magazine Lateral and editor of the Paris-based magazine Inculte as well as head of the publishing house of the same name. He has been awarded several prizes for his work, outstanding amongst which are the Prix Décembre (2009), the Prix du Livre Inter (2010), and the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens (2010). His book Brúixola (2016, Empúries – published in English as Compass, New Directions, 2017), a blend of memoirs, travel literature, and sentimental diary in which he declares his love for the Near East, was awarded France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, in 2015. More recently, in 2022, he received the Albert Camus Prize for his “deep commitment to the world”. His books published in Catalan by Columna Edicions include Parla’ls de batalles, de reis i d’elefants (2011 – in English as Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants, New Directions, 2018), and L’Alcohol i la nostàlgia (2012). Also published in Catalan is Carrer Robadors (2013 – in English as Street of Thieves, Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2015). His most recent novel is El banquet anual de la Confraria d’enterramorts (2020, Empúries), which is conceived as the literary feast of an over-the-top imagination presented in the tragicomic diary of an anthropology student.

Update: 10 February 2023


Has participated in

Mathias Énard and Edurne Portela

A Continent Made of Words

Mathias Énard and Laura Fernández

Albert Camus: Mediterranean Thought

Javier Cercas and Mathias Enard

Literature and Imposture