Xàbia returns to immerse itself in the darker side of literature with the Xàbia Negra festival

The three-day event will take place over the Halloween weekend.

Tuesday 19th October 2021 – ÁLVARO MONFORT with Mike Smith


The darker side of culture returns to Xàbia at the end of the month with the FESTIVAL XÀBIA NEGRA which is dedicated to detective and mystery literature, an initiative that was last celebrated in 2018 and comes back once again on the weekend of October 29th-31st under the auspices of the VALÈNCIA NEGRA contest.

The town hall explained that they were forced to pause the festival in 2019 for reason beyond their control but they never gave up on bringing it back since “it is the only activity of its type that is celebrated in Xàbia”.

The weekend programme will take place across several venues in the municipality, including the two public libraries, the Casa de la Cultura in the heart of the historic centre, and both IES Antoni Llidó and IES No.1 and will feature literary meetings with renowned authors, a short film contest and a reading club, amongst other events.

Friday 29th October 2021

The two high schools will host two meetings with writers of the genre. At IES Antoni Lidó, students will be able to hear from Fernando Marías and Rosa Masip, two authors who will present the novel “Al otro lado de la brújula” whilst those at IES No.1 in the port will be able to listen to the experiences of Silvestre Vilaplana, both providing a chance for the young people to be introduced to literature.

At 10.00am in the Plaça de l’Esglesía, the short film contest Xàbia Negra will commence, an event with forms part of the Riurau Cinema School and involves a total of 36 hours of frantic non-stop audiovisual creative challenge in which participants must make audiovisual pieces of less than five minutes in length from scratch. The final productions will be screened at the Casa de la Cultura at 1.15pm on Sunday 31st October from which the winner will be selected and announced.

At 7.00pm in the Casa de la Cultura, journalists Vanesa Lozano and Luis Rendueles will talk about how their profession and research work has changed over the past 40 years. Then, at 8.00pm in the same venue, a second talk will address the psychology of recurring characters in the crime novel.

The opening day of the festival will be rounded off at 10.30pm with the monologue by the writer Fernando Marías entitled “Esta noche moriré” which will be followed at 11.15pm by a short concert by the author Rosa Masip “Música noir desde el otro lado de la luna”.

Saturday 30th October

The two public libraries will be hosting two reading clubs. In the historic centre, the library will received renowned author Víctor Del Arbol who will speak about his novel “El hijo del padre” whilst, the port library will do the same with Joan Carles Ventura and his work “Em diuen fletxa”, thus inaugurating the Xàbia library reading in Valencian club.

A little later, the writers Marta Barrio, Aro Sáinz de la Maza, Luis Rendueles, Santiago Álvarez, Fernando Marías and Rosa Masip will be the protagonists of a literary vermouth at Dúplex Bar Bacoa at 12.30pm at a meeting in which the public will be able to discover the ins and outs of their work and converse with the creators.

In the afternoon, the Casa de la Cultura will once again host two literary encounters. The first at 7.00pm will be led by an old acquaintance of the festival,Vicente Garrido, author of the genre who will explain the fascination that a large part of society feels for crimes and mysteries and will address the rise of the true crime phenomenon. Later, at 8.00pm, Rosa Ribas and Víctor Del Arbol will delve into the role of family ties in romantic intrigues.

Sunday 31st October

Rosa Ribas, Marta Barrio, Aro Sáinz De La Maza and Víctor Del Arbol will face off in a “battle between writers”, an exciting duel in which the participants must build a quality story in a short time that is suggestive and attractive to the general public. The appointment will take place at the Casa de la Cultura at 12 noon followed by the award of the first La Criminala prize.

La Criminala Award

In this renewed tribute to the crime novel, the awarding of the La Criminala Prize has been incorporated, an award that aims to recognize the contribution made by authors to the genre and that has the intention of becoming a prize of great projection in literary circles. This one takes the iconic nickname of the protagonist of one of the darkest passages of the Xàbia’s history.

In this first edition, the award will be presented to the writer Víctor del Árbol, Knight of Letters and Arts of France and awarded the Prix du Polar Européen, the Quercy Noir and the Nadal Prize, amongst others. Del Árbol has made an outstanding contribution to the emotional and psychological development of the characters in the crime novel. The event will take place at 1.00pm.


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