The name John Cleese (Somerset, 1939) will forever be associated with Monty Python, the most important and influential comic group of the 20th century he cofounded. The famous BBC series Monty Python’s Flying Circus enshrined the group and all of its members with its surrealist, black and insolent humour.
The success of the Pythons was prolonged with the feature films Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, comedies produced, wrote and starred by Cleese. He also cowrote and starred in the sitcom Fawlty Towers, and wrote and costarred in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures.
John Cleese’s huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected with the landmark comedy troupe Monty Python, on Fawlty Towers, and beyond now seems written into comedy’s DNA.
(Madrid, 1969) defines himself a journalist and writer who has “sucked the life out of” the profession, working as a bullfighting critic, opera expert, war correspondent, Vatican reporter, sports writer, Paris correspondent and unofficial biographer of Berlusconi until finally “degenerating” into a role as a radio and television show participant.
He currently writes for the newspaper El País and is a regular contributor to programs on Antena 3, La Sexta and Onda Cero.
was born in Cádiz in 1962. Aged just nineteen she began working at Spain’s National Radio network as an actress, broadcaster and script writer. Indeed, her popular character Manolito Gafotas had its origins in these radio scripts. Her work, mainly published by Seix Barral, includes novels such as Algo más inesperado que la muerte, Lo que me queda por vivir and Lugares que no quiero compartir con nadie, the work of theatre La ley de la selva, the diary Noches sin dormir and her reports for El País in Don de Gentes and Tinto de verano, the latter have recently been republished by Fulgencio Pimentel.
She has been awarded the Spanish National Prize for Children’s and Adolescent Literature and the Biblioteca Breve Prize for Una palabra tuya. She has also written several film scripts and is a regular collaborator with the newspaper El País.
was born in Albacete and is a “citizen par excellence of La Mancha”. Among all of his different facets, he stands out as an actor, comic, script writer and cartoonist. His humour has a large number of followers, thanks to the creation of such talented programs as La hora chanante, Muchachada Nui and Museo Coconut, in which he also did parodies and impressions of different people. He has participated in all of these projects alongside his inseparable colleagues Julián López, Raúl Cimas and Ernesto Sevilla, who he has known since university.
At present, he collaborates on the monologue program El club de la comedia and he also has a section on El intermedio on La Sexta. He also collaborates with the newspaper El País, the magazine Cinemanía and the program Yu no te pierdas nada on the Top 40 hits. As an actor, he has participated on films such as Spanish Movie and 3 bodas de más. Reyes is also the creator of the famous cartoon character Enjuto Mojamuto.
started his career as a scriptwriter on the Paramount Comedy channel in Spain until his colleagues encouraged him to do monologues. From there, he went to work on the comedy program La hora chanante, where he starred alongside Joaquin Reyes, Julián López, Raúl Cimas and Carlos Areces. His favourite characters included The Farmhand and Marlon Brando.
Later, and with the same colleagues, he acted and participated on directing duties on the program Muchachada Nui on La 2 (of which is he co-creator along with Joaquín Reyes and where he also wrote some of his most memorable gags) and the sitcom Coconut on Neox. Sevilla has also collaborated on several short films with Nacho Vigalondo, on the series La que se avecina and on films such as Pagafantas, Campamento Flipy, Spanish Movie, El gran Vázquez and Torrente 4. He has also presented and directed some television programs.
(Francesc Capdevila, Barcelona, 1956) is an illustrator and author of comic strips, he has published around thirty comics since the start of his career in the 80s for the magazine Víbora. His prizes include the 2007 National Comic Prize, the Grand Prize of the Barcelona Comic Salon in 2000 and the Ignatz Prize (United States, 1999). He was the founder of the cutting-edge graphic magazine NSLM and co-directed it between 1995 and 2007. He currently publishes a weekly cartoon strip in Babelia, the weekly supplement of the newspaper El País.
His work as an illustrator includes posters, CD covers, illustrations for the press, books and animation. He has received the 1997 prize for the Best Illustrated Children’s and Young People’s Books, the 2004 Junceda Iberia Award and the 2014 Graphic Prize, among others. His retrospective exhibition Panoptic has been touring around Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Finland between 2011 and 2015.
is one of the most eminents concert pianists of our time and a great renovator of classical music. He has starred in documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4, writes in The Guardian and performs all over the world.
In his book Instrumental. A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music (Canongate Books) Rhodes looks back at the rapes he suffered at the hands of his physical education teacher between the age of 5 and 10, his addictions, his stays in psychiatric hospitals, his suicide attempts and how Bach and other composers saved his life. These are controversial, audacious and surprisingly entertaining memoirs that have become one of the literary phenomena of the year in several countries.
(Madrid, 1971) is the author of the book of stories and poems El malestar al alcance de todos and the collection of poems Mercado Común, both published by Caballo de Troya; as well as the two novellas included in La nueva taxidermia and the novel El genuino sabor, both published by Literatura Random House.
Cebrián is also a regular contributor to the newspapers El País, La Vanguardia and Público, and in several cultural magazines such as Eñe, Gatopardo, Revista de Occidente and The Massachusetts Review. She has translated Georges Perec and Alan Sillitoe into Spanish.
was born in 1972 in Niort, France. After studying Arabic and Persian and spending long periods in the Middle East, he settled in Barcelona in 2000. There, he has actively participated in several cultural magazines -including Lateral which is no longer in publication-, and he has taught Arabic at the Autonomous University. Enard is the author of novels such as Bréviaire des artificiers, Zone, Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d’éléphants and Street of Thieves. His latest book is Compass (Literatura Random House) which was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 2015.
Photo ©SIMON ISABELLE SIPA
is a reporter for different sections of El País newspaper, where he has worked in several managerial rules such as editor-in-chief of the International section, elpais.com and director of the cultural supplement Babelia. He has worked as a special envoy in more than 20 countries; including, among others, the conflicts of Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon. He has given lectures at Spanish and international universities and is professor of the principles of journalism at the El País School / Autonomous University of Madrid. He also worked for the agency France Presse and at the newspaper El Sol which is no longer in publication.
was born in Poland (Torun) in 1975, but moved with his family to Germany in 1981. He currently lives in Berlin and is a regular contributor to the weekly supplement of Die Zeit. He is considered to be the most notable writer and journalist of his generation.
In 2005 he received the Axel Springer award for journalism, and in 2007 he published his first book Polski Tango, which had a great reception, then surpassed by his following titles, El arte de no decir la verdad (The art of not telling the truth) and El libro de los vicios (The Book of Vices), both published in Spain by Anagrama.
(Argentina, 1975) is the author of books of stories like La vida interior de las plantas de interior, and novels such El espíritu de mis padres sigue subiendo en la lluvia. With Random House he has just published No derrames tus lágrimas por nadie que viva en estas calles. He has received numerous prizes for his work including, among others, the 2004 Juan Rulfo Short Story Award.
The English magazine Granta selected him as one of the twenty-two best young writers in Spanish of his generation. Pron holds a doctorate in Romance Philology from the Georg-August University in Göttingen (Germany).
According to her editors, Marta Sanz (Madrid, 1967) does not resemble any other writer in this country. She uses laughter as a diagnosis tool: wit and irony are a common weapon in her work, as shown in some of her most renowned works, Black, black, black, Un buen detective no se casa jamás and La lección de anatomía, all published by Anagrama. Farándula, the satire with which she won the 33rd Herralde Novel Prize is a text that is “blunt, fun, sad, sharp and urgent”.
Marta Sanz is also the author of several collections of poems and essays and collaborates regularly with the cultural sections of El País and in El Mundo’s supplement El Cultural.
Manuel Rodríguez Rivero
was born in Barcelona. He has collaborated with around thirty communication media outlets as an editor, critic and cultural commentator; he has held publishing roles at Alfaguara and Espasa Calpe, as well as other companies. He has taught literary editing at different workshops and Master’s courses; and has advised different institutions such as the Ministry of Culture and the Madrid Student Residency.
Between 1998 and 2001 he collaborated weekly with Babelia, the cultural supplement of El País. Between 2002 to 2007 he wrote a set weekly section in the cultural supplement of the newspaper ABC, where he was also in charge of a weekly opinion column. In 2008 he returned to El País where, among other articles, he writes a weekly section in Babelia entitled Sillón de Orejas.
(Oviedo, 1980) is one of the creators of the satirical magazine Mongolia and he writes film reviews in the newspaper La Nueva España and in the magazine Cinemanía.
He is co-director of the “Make them laugh” University Extension Course at the University of Oviedo, which studies humour and its circumstances, he is also the author of the short essay Morir de pie. Stand-up (and Norteamérica) (Rema y vive, 2014) and he is one of the authors of the group book Todavía voy por la primera temporada (Léeme libros, 2014).
(Photo: Gabriel Sanmartín)
(Madrid, 1971) is a writer, poet, translator and publisher. Her last book published was Las Efímeras (Galaxia Guttenberg, 2015). She is also the author of the short story collections El mes más cruel (Impedimenta), for which she was named FNAC’s Literary Talent, and Viajes inocentes (Páginas de Espuma), for which she obtained the Ojo Críticio Narrative Prize, as well as the novels Las hijas de Sara (Alianza Editorial) and El hombre de espaldas, I Opera Prima Prize for New Narrators, 1999.
Pilar Adón has translated works by authors such as Henry James, Penelope Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton, and many of her own stories have also been translated into several languages.
was born in Ribadesella (Asturias) in 1972. He is a mine engineer and has a degree in English Philology. He is the author of the books of stories Estrómboli –recently published by Impedimenta-, Como una historia de terror (Ojo Crítico Narrative Prize), Bajo el influjo del cometa (Tigre Juan Prize and Basque Literature Prize) and Física familiar –all published by Salto de Página-, as well as the novels El hermano de las moscas, Padres, hijos y primates (Other Voices, Other Rooms Prize) -both also by Salto de Página-, and Shakespeare y la ballena blanca (Tusquets).
He currently lives in Bilbao, where he works as a translator.
was born in Madrid in 1976, although she has lived in Sevilla since she has a child. She has published the novels Cuatro por cuatro (finalist of the Herralde Novel Prize) and Cicatriz (chosen among the best books of 2015 by El País, El Mundo, ABC and El Español) and the book of short stories Mala letra, all published by Anagrama.
Critics have singled her out as one of the most interesting authors of our time.
Miren Agur Meabe
was born in Lekeitio (Biscay) in 1962. She studied Teaching and Basque Philology and spent some years working as a teacher. Since then, she has combined writing with the publication of textbooks in Basque. She writes poetry as well as novels and is the author of an extensive number of works for children and young people She has been a member of the Royal Academy of Basque (Euskaltzaindia) since 2006, and also currently works as a teacher in the Bilbao Experience Classrooms.
She received the Critics Prize in 2001 and 2011 for the collections of poems Azalaren kodea (The code of skin) and Bitsa eskuetan (Foam on the hands), as well as the Basque Prize for Young People’s Literature on three occasions for the works Itsaslabarreko etxea (The house on the cliff, 2002), Urtebete itsasargian (A year on the lighthouse, 2006) and Errepidea (The road, 2011).
The composer, producer and musician Kepa Junkera (Bilbao, 1965) is one of the most international artists from the Basque country. A master of the trikitixa (a type of Basque accordion), he has been able to give his work a universal feel while keeping it deeply rooted in tradition. His handling of improvisations and of different fusions of styles has enriched the Basque musical scene and has revolutionised the world of the trikitixa and of traditional Basque music in general.
He has performed in concerts all over the world (New York, Paris, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong) and he has worked with artists such as Pablo Milanés, Patricia Sosa, Celso Duarte, Juanes, Andrés Calamaro, Estrella Morente, Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel and Miguel Bosé. He has released 22 albums up until now. The numerous prizes he has won throughout his career include the 2004 Latino Grammy for the Best Folk Album for his live album K.
(Bilbao, 1959). He was a script writer for comics (El Víbora, Cimoc…) and television series (Farmacia de guardia, Turno de oficio…). Among other books, he has published the volumes of short stories Páginas ocultas de la historia (1999), written with Fernando Marías, and La taberna de los 3 monos (2000). He is the author of the novels El oro de los carlistas (2001), Alacranes en su tinta (2002), La cuenta atrás (2004), Voracidad (2006), Basque Prize for Literature, Ostras para Dimitri (2012) and Pájaros quemados (2015). He also written the miscellaneous works Tratado sobre la resaca (2003) and La resaca del amor (2009) and a compilation of articles El número de tontos (2007).
He has been translated into French, German, Italian, Russian, Bulgarian, Norwegian, and Basque. He is an opinion columnist for El Correo. In 2010 he came up with the idea for the Ja! Bilbao Festival and he directs it.
(Bilbao, 1947) began his professional career at Radio Popular, where over the course of eighteen years he worked on different cultural programs. During the same period, he worked on TVE and on different supplements of Egin and El Correo. In 1984 he joined Radio Euskadi and two years later he joined ETB.
Since 1987 he has presented and codirected the literary program Pompas de papel and since 1995 he has presented the program on cinema La Noche de…
Vicente Molina Foix
was born in Elche and studied Philosophy in Madrid. He lived in London for eight years, where he graduated in History of Art from the University of London, and spent three years teaching Spanish literature at Oxford University. A playwright, critic and film director (his film Sagitario was released in 2001), his literary work has mainly been undertaken -since his inclusion in Castellet´s historic anthology Nueve novísimos poetas españoles– in the field of novel writing. His main narrative publications are: Museo provincial de los horrores, Busto (Barral Prize 1973), La comunión de los atletas, Los padres viudos (Azorín Prize 1983), La Quincena Soviética (Herralde Prize 1988), La misa de Baroja, La mujer sin cabezas and El vampiro de la calle Méjico (Alfonso García Ramos Prize 2002). It is also especially worth pointing out his splendid versions of Shakespeare´s Hamlet, King Lear and The Merchant of Venice, as well as his reviews of films compiled in El cine estilográfico.
(Barcelona, 1942) is a philologist, literary historian of the period from the Middle Age to the Golden Age, and he also a member of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE). He was worked especially on Petrarch and early humanism in Italy and Spain, Lazarillo de Tormes, and Don Quixote. He is an eminent expert on the work of Miguel de Cervantes and author of canonical editions of Don Quixote, in 2015 he was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts.
Francisco Rico also directs the Royal Spanish Academy’s Classical Library and he regularly contributes to the newspaper El País.
holds a Doctorate in Journalism and a Degree in Information Science, Political Science and Sociology. His entire professional career has been linked to the newspaper El Correo, where has worked for the Economics, Local, Society and Culture Sections.
He is currently also assistant director at this newspaper. He is the author or co-author of a dozen books and won the Miguel de Unamuno Essay Prize in 2006. César Coca also teaches Journalism at the University of the Basque Country as well as the El Correo Journalism Master’s Program at the same university.
Imanol Uribe, the Basque film director and producer, was born in San Salvador (El Salvador) in 1950. His first feature film, El proceso de Burgos (1979) tackled the issue of ETA terrorism, and he approached this subject again in La fuga de Segovia, La muerte de Mikel and Días contados –which won several Goya awards and the Golden Shell prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 1994-, as well as in his last film Lejos del mar. Titles such as El rey pasmado – winner of seven Goyas -, Bwana, Plenilunio, El viaje de Carol, and La carta esférica complete one of the most invaluable filmographies in Spanish cinema of our age.
Rosa María Calaf
(Barcelona, 1945) was the face of TVE for four decades in all of the world’s hotspots. She has also worked as a correspondent in New York, Moscow, Peking, Buenos Aires, Vienna and Hong Kong. Her professional prestige has been recognised with several awards. They include, the Ondas Prize, the National Prize for Journalism in Catalonia, the José Couso Prize for Press Freedom and the Asia House Prize for her coverage of the 2005 tsunami.
She currently collaborates with TV3 in Catalonia, where she was director of programming in 1983.
(Madrid, 1944) is a writer, traveller and journalist. His travel book and history El sueño de África enjoyed great success that kept going with the other two books in the trilogy: Vagabundo en África and Los caminos perdidos de África. His numerous travel books also include: El río de la desolación, El río de la luz, En mares salvajes and Un verano chino (2015). His novels include: Todos los sueños del mundo, La noche detenida (2002 City of Torrevieja Prize), Barrio cero (2010 Fernando Lara Prize) and El tiempo de los héroes. His last book, El hombre de las dos patrias (Ediciones B), recounts the author’s trip around Algeria, following in the footsteps of Albert Camus, one of his favourite writers.
Javier Reverte is also a script writer for documentaries and information programs on television and he has written comedies for radio.
is a journalist, radio broadcaster and television presenter. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with media outlets such as Radio Popular, Radio Euskadi, ETB and TVE, He has also written for the newspapers Diario Vasco, Deia, Egin and Gara. In his professional career he has specialised in travel and adventure journalism.
He has presented radio and television programs such as Doctor Livingstone, supongo, La Casa de la Palabra, Tierra a la Vista and Levando Anclas, the latter has been on the radio since 1984. Among the prizes he has obtained, of particular significance is the 2009 Communication Prize awarded by the Spanish Geographical Society.
The French poet and photographer René Maltête (1930-2000) was, above all, a comic. He believed that “nothing is more necessary than humour” and that it is “one of the clearest manifestations of intelligence, honesty and mental health”. His images, based on incongruity and surprise, managed to capture unusual scenes from daily life, filled with humour and elegance, and they often reached a philosophical dimension.
During his lifetime, his photographs were published in press publications from all over the world (Life, Epoca, Stern, etc.) and his work has been the subject of several exhibitions. A member of the famous agency Rapho, he was author of the book Paris des rues et des chansons, with poems by Brassens, Trenet, Mac Orlan, Jacques Prévert and Boris Vian.