The Spanish Language Blog

Carlos Ruiz Zafón was born on Sept. 25, 1964, in Barcelona. He is one of the best-known Spanish novelists. All the books written by Zafón are set in Barcelona. He became famous with his first novel "La sombra del viento," the shadow of the wind. All of Zafón's books have been translated into Dutch, by Nelleke Geel.

Until today there are 7 books by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Including 3 novels and 4 juvenile novels. All his novels have been published in more than 40 countries in 30 different languages. Ever since Carlos was five years old he has wanted to be a writer, working at a large advertising company until the 1990s. But then quit this to focus fully on his passion: writing! In his own words, Zafón's novels are a biography of his own life.

The shadow of the wind

His first novel was the 2001 book "La sombra del viento," which in Dutch means "the shadow of the wind". This was also the book that brought him great fame. This book is about the main character, Daniel, who one day is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel gets to pick one book and chooses the book; "The Shadow of the Wind. From that day on, the book changes his whole life, and even seems that the people Daniel meets in his life from then on are part of a game in which the book is the centerpiece.

Juvenile novels

In 1993 Carlos released his first book, a juvenile novel called 'El príncipe de la niebla' (the mist prince), this was a mystery horror novel. In 1994 he released his second juvenile novel called 'El palacio de la medianoche' (The Midnight Palace). His last juvenile novel was "Marina," which he released in 1999. After this, Zafón began writing novels for adults.

The Spanish Civil War

Besides 'La sombra del viento' Zafón released two other novels. 'El juego del angel' in Dutch is called 'Het spel van de engel' this book was released in 2008 and in 2011 he released the book 'El prisionero del cielo', 'The prisoners of heaven'. The remarkable thing is that all these novels are set after the Spanish Civil War in Barcelona. Consequently, there are several individual and group tours available in Barcelona that visit all the locations from the books. Carlos has mentioned several times that his three novels are part of a four-part series, "the quartet of Barcelona. So it is only a matter of time until his next novel comes out and his four-part series is complete.

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