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Spain: Moroccan writer Najat El Hachmi wins Sant Joan BBVA Catalan literary prize."

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Najat El Hachmi has won the Sant Joan BBVA Catalan literature prize for her work "La Filla Estrangera', Spanish media reported.

The writer from Morocco had previously been honored in 2008 for her short story "l’Ultim Patriarca" (The Last Patriarch), who won the Ramon Llull and Ulysses Award. Once again her name will be marked in the history of literature in Catalonia.

The event was held with the presence of the President of the Catalan Parliament, NĂºria de Gispert. This is the 35th edition of this prize of 35,000 euros. The work was selected against 55 other competing books.

Born in 1976 in Beni Sidel, a region located in the Rif and part of the province of Nador, Najat arrived in Catalonia at the age of 8 years. She began her schooling in Catalan schools before joining the university in Arabic Philology Department. Subsequently, she worked at the town hall as a cultural facilitator.

"La filla estrangera" is a monologue in which the protagonist, a young woman fresh out of high school, lives with her mother and has to decide how she will manage her future. She has the choice of going to live in Barcelona or stay with her family and accept a marriage with her cousin. The work focuses mainly on the generational conflict between mother and daughter, fueled by the language barrier, difficulties in access to employment and the problems facing the children of immigrants.

Through her literary work, Najat wants to be a spokeswoman for the cause of women. "I want to make literature on all the women I know because they are forgotten, she told El Pais. The women in my family are the source of my writing, and I will fight against stereotypes ".

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