Spanish Writers Profiled at the CBC – Cercas, Najat El Hachmi

The CBC is doing a week long series on writing in Spain and will be featuring an interview with Javier Cercas in English on the program Writers and Company.

Franco’s Ghosts: The Remaking of Spain is a new five-part series starting April 17 on Writers & Company. This week, Eleanor Wachtel takes us behind the scenes and shares her impressions on a country haunted by history.

In her article about the series she mentions the writer Najat El Hachmi who she met. I have actually seen her interviewed on El publico lee a few years ago. It was an interesting interview because she said something like she was illiterate until 1o or something like that. It is a little vague at this point, but it struck me as impressive that now she was a writer.

The influence of new immigrant communities marks another dramatic change. I talk to the Moroccan-born writer Najat El Hachmi, whose novel The Last Patriarch was a bestseller and won the most prestigious Catalan literary prize. Her book has been translated into all the major European languages and also won the Prix Ulysse in France. But she continues to write and publish in Catalan. She describes how at family dinners, she speaks to her mother in their Berber language, to her son in Catalan and to her siblings in Spanish. And we have trouble with French?