Author Interview: Llucia Ramis

Describe your book, Things That Happen to You in Barcelona When You're Thirty.

This novel is about thirtysomethings in Barcelona who are freelancers or artists, and have no real responsibilities or relationships. Nothing has changed since their twenties, but they are already starting their midlife crises. All their things are temporary: Mcjobs, apartments, roommates, lovers. They don’t know how to make decisions. They imagined a different future for themselves, but they’re not really worried yet. They go out every night and drink a lot of beer to forget their problems. They’re still having fun.

How did you come up with the idea for this book? 

When I was thirty, I was engaged to be married. I organized a party with all my ex-boyfriends to say goodbye to my sexy single life. At that time, my dream was to make love in the Sagrada Familia. At my bachelorette party, I realized that all of my exes were still lost; their lives hadn’t changed at all. They were the ones left standing in a game of musical chairs. My generation is not very focused. The recession doesn’t particularly affect us because we live in a constant recession. In the end, I didn’t get married, and I wrote a novel. But it’s not autobiographical.

Describe the characters in the book.

The main character is a journalist. She wakes up next to a strange guy on her thirtieth birthday and thinks she’s getting too old for that sort of thing. Her best friends are a coworker who has just gotten fired, a painter, a psychologist addicted to antidepressants, and a lawyer who’s about to get married. The lawyer is planning her bachelorette party, and she invites all of her exes. One of them is also an ex of the main character.

What is your favorite holiday?

April 23 is Saint George’s day, and in Catalonia, it’s also the day of the book because we commemorate the death of Shakespeare and Cervantes. Years ago, women gave books to men, and men gave roses to women. But nowadays, everybody buys books and roses. The booksellers are on the street, there are big crowds all day long, and publishers estimate that they make forty percent of their annual earnings! For Catalan people, Saint George is like Valentine’s Day is for the rest of the world, so it’s the best day of the year. I was born on April 23, and so I always imagine that this celebration of love is my own birthday party.

What is your desert island book? 

The book I’m writing. It would be terrible to not be able to finish it because I’d left it at home.

Who is the writer you would like to have lunch with? 

Roberto Bolaño. Again.

What did you used to think you would become? 

An archaeologist like Indiana Jones.

Thank you, Llucia!
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