Press Releases


Carlos Ruiz Zafón, in the ‘Encounters with the Cathedral’

10/11/06 The author of the successful novel “The Shadow of the Wind” visits the restoration works and offers a lecture.

Victoria-Gasteiz, 10 November 2006. Writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of the hit Novel La sombra del viento (The shadow of the wind), will be giving a conference on Monday 13 as part of the “Encuentros con la Catedral” (Encounters with the Cathedral) programme organized by the Santa María Cathedral Foundation. The talk will take place in the Palacio de Congresos Europa from 20:00 hrs. Those interested may collect their invitations at the Santa María Cathedral Visitor Centre (Plaza de la Burulleria, s/n).

Carloso Ruiz Zafrón was born on 25 September 1964 in Barcelona. After studying with the Jesuits in Sarriá and attending university, he went to work in the publishing industry. At the beginning of the 1990s, he started his career as a writer, mainly writing literary texts for children and young people. He made his debut as a novelist with El principe de la niebla (The Prince of the Fog) in 1993, a mystery that was awarded the Edebé prize.

In 1994 he moved to the United States to live in the city of Los Angeles where he tried to begin a career as a screenwriter.

Zafón, a lover of 19th century novels influenced by authors such as Fedor Dostoievsky, Leon Tolstoy and Charles Dickens, continued his successful career by writing mystery novels in Edebé, such as El príncipe de la niebla (1993); El palacio de la medianoche (1994), a story set in the city of Calcutta during the 1930s; Las luces de septiembre (1995), a book revolving around a strange toy manufacturer who lives in a mansion inhabited by mechanical beings; and Marina (1999), a novel set in the context of the city of Barcelona.

In 2001 he made the jump into narrative for adults and published La sombra del viento, which has become the world´s most popular Spanish novel. His works have been translated into more than thirty languages and published in more than forty countries, winning numerous international prizes and winning millions of fans.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón was a finalist for the Fernando Lara prize with La Sombra del Viento, and was launched on the international scene. The work became a best seller in Spain and Germany and was also received with enthusiasm in the United States.

The novel, set in Barcelona in the post war period, deals with the obsession of a young man called Daniel Sempere with a writer called Julián Carax, the forgotten author of a book entitled La sombra del viento.

Those interested in attending Ruiz Zafón´s conference should collect their invitations at the Santa María Cathedral Visitor Centre (Plaza de la Burulleria, s/n).
Conference by CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN, author of “La sombra del viento”.
Day: Monday, 13 November.
Place and time: Palacio de Congresos Europa.
Time: 20:00 hrs.
Entrance with invitations that can be collected at the Santa María Cathedral Visitor Centre (Plaza de la Burullería, s/n), between 10.30 and 14.00 hrs, mornings and 16.30 and 20.00 hours, in the evening.

La sombra del viento is the first part of a series of four interconnected novels set in a mysterious, gothic Barcelona revolving around the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books. The four independent, stand-alone stories share some characters and scenes and create a literary universe inspired by the historical setting of Barcelona starting with the industrial revolution and ending in the years after the Spanish Civil War.

“The Shadow of the Wind epidemic began in Spain and has now taken hold strength in Germany. Now the question is simple: will we French be able to keep a cool head and resist it? The answer is even more simple: No. There is no way”. This prognosis, which was published in the magazine “Lire” in spring 2004, when the novel was about to be published in France, can be applied to each and every country where La sombra del viento has been discovered.

In Spain, after five years on the best-seller lists and two million copies sold, it is a landmark. In Germany, a survey carried out on a sample of readers considers that La sombra del viento is one of the best books of all time. In the United States it has received enthusiastic praise from The Washington Post: “Everyone who enjoys terrifying, erotic, moving, tragic and thrilling novels should rush to the nearest bookshop and get hold of a copy of La sombra del viento. Really, you should do it”. And in France it was considered the best foreign novel in 2004.

Something that British and Italian readers, and those throughout Latin America have already gone and done… meaning six million copies have been sold throughout the world. What is “zafonmania” then? The passion for reading triggered by La sombra del viento that grows and grows.