Toni Sala - "The Boys" - Alba Girons Masot - co-sponsored by The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Joan Coromines Chair of Catalan Studies and the Institut Ramon Llull

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Toni Sala discusses The Boys. He will be joined in conversation by Alba Girons Masot.

Co-sponsored by The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Joan Coromines Chair of Catalan Studies and the Institut Ramon Llull

At the Co-op


About the book: The once-bucolic Catalonian village of Vidreres has been ravaged by a harsh recession, and now two of its young men have died in a horrible car crash. As the town attends the funeral, a banker named Ernest heads to the tree where they died, trying to make sense of the tragedy. There he meets a brutish trucker, who in between Internet hookups and trips to prostitutes has taken a liking to Iona, the fiancée of one of the dead boys. Iona might be just what he needs to fix his tawdry life, but she’s mixed up with an artist who makes frightening projects. Masterfully conjuring the voices of each of these four characters, Toni Sala entwines their lives and their feelings of guilt, fear, and rage over an unspeakable loss.

Long known as one of Spain’s most powerful authors, Toni Sala is at his mischievous best here, delivering a sinister, fast-moving tale laced with intricate meditations on everything from social networks to Spain’s economic collapse to the mysterious end that awaits us all. The Boys is a startlingly honest vision of the things we’ll do in order to feel a little less alone in this world.

About the author: Toni Sala is the author of over a dozen novels and works of nonfiction. In 2005 he was awarded the National Literature Prize by the Catalan government, and he has also received many other honors for his writing. He lives in Barcelona.

About the interlocutor: Alba Girons Masot is the Catalan Lecturer at The University of Chicago. She got her PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). She was born in Barcelona, but in the last few years she has lived, studied and worked in France, Germany, Italy, and the US. Before coming to Chicago she taught Catalan Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

About The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures: The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers programs in French, Italian, and Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian literatures as well as Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. These programs include the study of literary history, established and current critical methodologies, literary theory and analysis, Romance philology, the sociology of literature, literature and history, cultural studies, films, and foreign language acquisition and pedagogy. In addition, our program offers a growing curriculum in Catalan, including a two-year language and culture program and advanced courses taught by the Joan Coromines Visiting Chair.

About the Joan Coromines Chair of Catalan Studies: The Joan Coromines Visiting Chair of Catalan Studies was created in 2005 thanks to the generous support of the Institut Ramon Llull and is named in honor the eminent philologist and hispanomedievalist, Joan Coromines (1905-1997). Prof. Coromines taught at the University of Chicago from 1946 until his retirement in 1967, and was known for both his contributions to Romance philology, literary studies, and for his ardent defense of Catalan culture.

About the Institut Ramon Llull: The Institut Ramon Llull is a public body founded with the purpose of promoting Catalan language studies at universities abroad, the translation of literature and thought written in Catalan, and Catalan cultural production in other areas like theatre, film, circus, dance, music, the visual arts, design and architecture.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637