Pere Virgili

Matthew Tree

Matthew Tree was born at the tail end of 1958, in London. He taught myself Catalan in 1978, and moved to Barcelona in 1984. There, after years of struggling with his native language (British English) he finally found his written voice (first in Catalan, then, years later, in English, when he wrote the novel SNUG).

His first novel (written in Catalan) was published in 1996. He went on to publish another novel, a collection of short stories, autobiography, a road book, and several diatribes and personal essays, all in Catalan.

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Matthew Tree welcomes queries regarding:
Agent Representation
Events & Signings
Film Rights
Foreign Publication
Media Coverage
Networking
U.S. Publication
Agent: Antonia Kerrigan [Antonia Kerrigan Literary Agency]

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"A finely written, disturbingly pointed indictment of British colonialism and racism."

Kirkus Reviews


AWARDS, PRESS & INTERESTS

The first review of SNUG, 2013

Author Pitch: SNUG by Matthew Tree, 2013

Matthew Parris: 'Summer reading', 2013

Interview in Barcelona, 2013

Hometown Barcelona

Favorite book Sexus

Favorite line from a book 'This is a good room.' (The opening line of Alasdair Gray's '1982, Janine')

Favorite word 'xiuxiuejar' pronounced shee-oo-shee-oo-shar. It's the Catalan word for 'to whisper'.


BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

FICTION & LITERATURE
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-8461631148
Page count: 454pp

Mysterious visitors to an isolated British seaside resort bring on a backlash of violence.

Tree (Barcelona, Catalonia: A View from the Inside, 2011, etc.) has created a witty, frightening book lancing British arrogance, racism and smugness. Told in the voices of several characters, including the racist, anti-Semitic Dr. Whitebone; his 14-year-old daughter, Lucy; and her horny 12-year-old friend, whom she calls the Boy Who Shall Be Nameless, or BWSBN, the novel recounts a series of strange events and the muddled, misguided and violent reactions they precipitate. On vacation in Coldwater Bay on the Isle of Wight, Dr. Whitebone, his family and young guests soon find entrance to and egress from the village blocked and the phone lines cut. The doctor enlists the help of a local police officer and singles out the village’s lone black resident and a family of rich Arabs for secret torture. Eventually, a group of Africans emerges from the village’s sea caves to explain how and why they’ve sealed off Coldwater Bay. They’re a kind of expeditionary force responding to centuries of European colonization and brutalization of their continent. They’ve come in peace and make the village a kind of Club Med. Trying to be a hero to Lucy, however, the BWSBN escapes and alerts the authorities, then rides along in a helicopter as British jet fighters secretly bomb the Africans as they’re peacefully leaving for France in a trawler. Years later, more sordid details emerge. BWSBN, now 21, alcoholic and impotent, runs into Lucy in London and gets the full scoop: the torture and death of the black man, the beating death of the rich Arab patriarch—both innocent—and the trial and acquittal of Dr. Whitebone for the black man’s death. BWSBN is horrified, but the one-time love of his life has smugly decided, like her compatriots in a broader context, that it’s all for the best: “They’re different from us….They had no business being here.” Though Tree moved from England to Spain and began writing in Catalan after suffering from writer’s block in his native tongue, this novel proves his facility with English. His prose sparkles with razor’s-edge wit reminiscent of the great British satirists, though in a gentler way and with a core of disillusion and dismay.

A finely written, disturbingly pointed indictment of British colonialism and racism and that fester in an insular smugness “where life is indeed an island…bristling with complacency.”

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:

ANIVERSARI
Essay

The author reflects on the ups and downs of the twenty years he has spent living in Catalonia.

Published:
ISBN: 84-664-0597-6
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BARCELONA, CATALONIA. A VIEW FROM THE INSIDE.
Non-fiction

A selection of ten years' worth of highly personal articles about living in Catalonia, previously published in various journals, newspapers and magazines.

Published:
ISBN: 978-1-61150-006-6
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CAT. UN ANGLÈS VIATJA PER CATALUNYA PER VEURE SI EXISTEIX
Road book

The author takes off 30 days to travel around Catalonia by public transport, writing a chapter every two or three days about what he sees and who he meets.

Published:
ISBN: 84-8300-614-6
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CONTRA LA MONARQUIA
Diatribe

A short attack on royalty everywhere, especially the British and Spanish monarchies.

Published:
ISBN: 84-96201-19-8
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ELLA VE QUAN VOL
Short stories

A collection of short stories about alcoholism, love, pretentious intellectuals and boring English people in Catalonia.

Published:
ISBN: 84-7502-596-X
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FORA DE LLOC
Fiction

A young Englishman falls out of love with a Catalan woman, and in love with her country.

Published:
ISBN: 84-7602-985-3


LA PUTA FEINA
Diatribe

An attack on the entire concept of work, with suggestions on how to get out of it or at least to get work that you like.

Published:
ISBN: 84-96201-68-6
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LA VIDA DESPRÉS DE DÉU
Essay

A serious critique of religion everywhere in all its forms.

Published:
ISBN: 978-84-96767-31-7
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MEMÒRIES!
Autobiography

The author describes the most important part of his (and possibly anyone's) life: the years from 15 to 30. These take him through a hated education, mental illness, plenty of booze, love affairs, anarchism, and emigration.

Published:
ISBN: 84-664-0411-2
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NEGRE DE MERDA. EL RACISME EXPLICAT ALS BLANCS.
Essay

A serious look at the origins of racism, at anti-black/African racism, anti-Semitism, and racism in general. Illustrated.

Published:
ISBN: 978-84-664-1182-0
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PRIVILEGIAT
Novel

A disturbed young man is picked up by the police after trying to blow up his old school. On his person they find his most prized posession: some letters written by Malcolm Lowry to the man's grandfather.

Published:
ISBN: 84-664-0141-5
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WHAT'S BARCELONA?
Travel

A collection of brief articles on dozens of different Barcelona-related subjects, from mugging and prostitution through to how the four different police forces are organised. The texts accompany stunning photographs by Txema Salvans.

Published:
ISBN: 978-84-9850-177-3
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ONLINE:

The SNUG book trailer.