Oriol Canosa

Portrait Oriol Canosa
© Núria Puigbó

Oriol Canosa was born in Tarragona, Catalonia in 1975. He is a bookseller and children’s book author, which are, according to his own statement »two very lucrative occupations that have enabled him to amass a small fortune that makes him one of the ten richest people on his landing.«

His first novel, »L’illa de les cartes perdudes« (2014; tr: The Island of Lost Letters), is set in 1914. World War I has broken out, and young Albert is sent by his parents from Strasbourg to the Isola della Cona. There, with his uncle Audubon, he is safe from the bombings. Far from home, the war seems almost absurd, but that does not diminish Albert’s anger and grief over what is happening. Over the course of the novel, he discovers the power of friendship and his inner strength on the island. In Canosa’s epistolary novel »L’illa de Paidonèsia« (2016; tr: The Island of Paidonèsia), nine-year-old Nicolas Pomelo takes a cruise through the Caribbean with his parents. Due to the fact that this is boring him to death and because his parents are constantly arguing, Nicolas runs away: He rows a lifeboat to a deserted island, barely the size of a football field, where other children who have also stolen away from other cruise ships gradually arrive. Ultimately, Nicolas is even elected president of the island state of Paidonesia. All that transpires can be read in the collected letters and emails. The book was awarded the Premi Josep Maria Folch i Torres, a literary prize for novels in Catalan for readers between the ages of nine and eleven, and the LesePeter of the Union for Education and Science. The jury praised the novel as »A funny, anarchic epistolary novel for young and old«. Oriol Canosa’s third novel, »El islote de los perros« (2017; tr: The Islet of Dogs), is set in Istanbul in 1910 and is based on true events: increasing complaints about stray dogs led the sultan to transport tens of thousands of them to an uninhabited island. In the novel, the heroines Klara and Sait visit the island. With the help of a Greek shoeshine boy and an old fisherman, they take care of the abandoned dogs. The book was awarded the Premi Ala Delta, a Spanish children’s and youth literature prize. The German translation of »El secreto de la navidad« (2019; tr: A Christmas Miracle for the Mouse Family) will be published in 2021. The story about a family of mice who are responsible for decorating the Christmas tree in the village square but are stopped from doing so by a large owl will include illustrations by Cuchu.

Furthermore, Oriol Canosa has published several short stories. In 2014, he and two colleagues opened Pebre Negre, a bookstore specializing in children’s and young adult literature, in Barcelona, where he also lives.