'Bar Urgel', by Pablo Gallego Boutou awarded with the 1st Diana Zaforteza Narrative Prize

'Bar Urgel', by Pablo Gallego Boutou awarded with the 1st Diana Zaforteza Narrative Prize
bonart barcelona - 19/06/24

Espai isern Dalmau has hosted the presentation in a press conference of the winner of the Diana Zaforteza Award. The jury of the Diana Zaforteza 2024 Narrative Prize has decided to award the award of the first edition to the work Bar Urgel, by Pablo Gallego Boutou, submitted to the competition under the pseudonym Akaki Akakievich. The jury highlighted this work "for being an original and fresh novel that portrays with empathy and humor the conflicts caused by the normalization of hate speech. Through an extraordinary mosaic of voices and records, we access the complexity of the contemporary world.”

Edurme Portela, who acts as literary director of the Prize, added that the jury process was a very interesting job, until arriving at the selected manuscript. For his part, Azahara Alonso emphasized that the award-winning author "manages to sculpt the world he proposes in a very lyrical way, delving deeper into the conflicts linked to politics, the social, etc."

'Bar Urgel', by Pablo Gallego Boutou awarded with the 1st Diana Zaforteza Narrative Prize

While Ignacio Martínez de Pisón has explained that it is not a novel in the traditional style because "Pablo plays with different styles and pays homage to this very Spanish institution that is the bar". And about the first call for the Diana Zaforteza Award, he was moved by the success of the call: "we wanted to distinguish this award from others, in some way, and that's why we put an age limit, and there has been a successful response, and a level that confirms it".

Dolores Rodés, mother of Diana Zaforteza, has expressed that the idea of creating this award "is in honor of my daughter and the aim is to encourage the creativity of young people". Highly moved, the awardee Pablo Gallego Boutou, who was able to connect remotely, thanked the award, as well as the initiative. He expressed his admiration for the members of the jury, and explained that the writing process was arduous, with many stages.

It is an introductory novel that tells the story of a boy marked by his relationship with his father, but in which there are several stories at the same time, such as that of Luis, a young man who suffers from bullying and who is based on a real friend. A writer of poetry, Gallego has explained that he feels very connected to this genre and that at Bar Urgel "he wanted to illuminate beauty from the poetic side, without forgetting the sense of humor. Both had to be present in the novel, looking for a balance.” About the profession of actor he has stated that it has served him for the construction of the dialogues, the observation, and for the relationship with the characters.

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