Article by Matías Néspolo in El Mundo
Trained in Philology at the UB and with a PhD from Brown University under the direction of Julio Ortega, the Catalan Pepa Novell is a ubiquitous editor. It is difficult to guess where she is in the world at any given time, even though her permanent residence is in Sacramento, California. And that same global mobility is the same that she wears as a badge of the young publishing house she has been running since February 2017, the date of her official founding, although the first books arrived in bookstores last May.
It is not in vain that the house motto is letters in transit. “I live in Sacramento, but the publishing house is registered in Madrid, the layout artist is from Valladolid, our printing house is from Cornellà and the designer works in Barcelona,” explains the young Catalan publisher. Not to mention that his project is supported “by a wide network of collaborators around the world,” she says. And she doesn’t exaggerate: the network extends from South America to the Scandinavian peninsula.
This is Magma Editorial, a label distributed by Les Punxes throughout the Iberian Peninsula, whose intention is to burst through like volcanic lava after the eruption, hence its name. “Because lava that solidifies leaves a mark”, warns Pepa Novell. And specifically, the incandescent material she works with are the new narrative voices, fished here and there throughout the vast pan-Hispanic world, and not only, because among her first titles there is also a first novel by a Parisian author, Seb Doubinsky (1963), with translation by Leonor Rocaspana: Hasta la vista Babilonia. Muerte en Mitra by Miquel Bota (1968) and 2001 Punto cero by Carlos A. Colla (1971) are the other two novels, all by novelists, with which Pepa Novell fearlessly jumped into the publishing arena.
“I feel very lucky, because I read everything myself and work side by side with the authors for as long as it takes for each manuscript,” she explains. As if that weren’t enough, Novell has also launched a series of thematic anthologies of stories to discover new voices. Thematic within the plurality of meanings of each proposal. For the moment he has published Cuentos TRANS and the Christmas stories for adults Cuentos Xmas. For the next course he is already preparing the edition of Cuentos Bi (March), Cuentos @ (June), Cuentos EX (September), Cuentos Meta (December) and the last Cuentos XXL already for 2020. With seven or eight new authors per title, the eruption of novels is unstoppable.