Najat El Hachmi
She has written books such as ‘El lunes nos querrán’, ‘Mare de llet i mel’ and The Last Patriarch.
One of the events not to be missed on the first day of the Mercè festivities is the Pregó or opening speech. This year the guest speaker is writer Najat El Hachmi, and the event will take place on Friday 22 September at 7 pm in the Saló de Cent at Barcelona City Hall.
El Hachmi was born in Beni Sidel (Morocco) in 1979, and at the age of eight moved to Vic, the city where she grew up. Her first book, published in 2004, was her autobiography Jo també sóc catalana, where she tackled the question of identity and the process of putting down roots in country she grew up in. Later came The Last Patriarch (2008, winner of the Ramon Llull Prize and the Ulysse Prize, and translated into six languages) and The Body Hunter (2011). With La filla estrangera (2015) she won the BBVA Sant Joan de Narrativa Prize and the City of Barcelona Prize. In her 2019 essay Sempre han parlat per nosaltres, she denounced the multiple obstacles and forms of discrimination faced by women. And two years ago, she won the Nadal Prize for El lunes nos querrán. The main character is a 17-year-old girl who longs to find the freedom to discover what makes her happy; it's a story about the importance of women being able to shape their own lives, despite the constraints they face that may be imposed by gender, social class and ethnicity. In 2020 El Hachmi was also awarded the María Luz Morales Journalism Prize for her opinion piece Confinadas de por vida, published in the newspaper El País in the April of that year.
Photo Credit ©Xavier Torres-Bacchetta