Ángel Fábregas’s Residence in Nanjing

On 5 October 2023 we made public the news that the novelist Ángel Fábregas had won the Nanjing Residency for Writers from Granada, as a result of the special agreement between the two cities, relating to the Nanjing International Writers Residency. This programme invites authors from UNESCO Cities of Literature all over the world. The Nanjing residencies are made possible by the International Literary Exchange Centre of the China Writers’ Association (Nanjing) and the Promotion Centre of the “UNESCO City of Literature” in Nanjing. El acuerdo entre Granada y Nanjing forma parte del Memorando firmado por representantes de ambas ciudades durante la visita oficial que el pasado mes de septiembre realizaron a Granada una delegación de autoridades culturales de la ciudad china. The agreement between Granada and Nanjing is part of the Memorandum signed by representatives of both cities during the official visit of a delegation of cultural authorities from the Chinese city to Granada last September.

Ángel Fábregas’ trip took place between 18 and 30 November. In addition to deploying his current narrative project, Ángel Fábregas shared his stay with several international writers who were also winners of the residency, from four other Unesco Cities of Literature: Debbie Lukito (Jakarta, Indonesia), Nick Holdstock (Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom), Kyle Mewburn (Millers Flat/Dunedin, New Zealand) and Miodrag Kojadinovic (Québec City, Canada).

During his residency, Ángel Fábregas has participated in various public events in Nanjing and the neighbouring city of Xinghua, which have produced useful contacts with authors and members of the local literary community. Among them, the round table held on 23 November at the Nanjing Literature Centre, or the meeting with the president of the Phoenix publishing group, the most important publishing group in the People’s Republic of China, whose headquarters are in Nanjing. On 25 November, he travelled to Xinghua to take part in the 41st edition of the Bi Feiyu Studio Novel Salon, one of the most important literary festivals in the region.

In addition to the trip to the neighbouring city of Xinghua, Ángel Fábregas has deployed an intense agenda of visits to monuments, places of memory, facilities and cultural institutions in Nanjing, such as the Temple of Confucius, the University of Nanjing, the Museum of Nanjing, the ancient wall of the city, and the Avant-Garde bookshop (Wutaishan), one of the most important in China.

The following is a short unpublished fragment of the story “Tangerines”, written by Ángel Fábregas during his residency, which has been commissioned by Nanjing UNESCO City of Literature for publication.

“Tangerines” (Fragment)

She sold tangerines under neon lights in a dank alley. The light was arriving there from a crowded square with a myriad of food stalls. The dodgy, syncopated reflection of the neon lights illuminated her worn teeth as I stood beside her wondering how she had got there from my little valley at the other end of the world. The planet is a communicating vessel and it could be that the water from my river seeped into the earth to where I was now, that it somehow dragged me, at least my spirit or consciousness, I don’t know. […] The woman looked at me curiously, our lives were so different. In a flash, one can sketch the existence of the one in front of you, an instant like the one that brought my consciousness there through a wormhole, or pure water, how should I know…

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