Paco Candel

Author of Els Altres Catalans or The Other Catalans

Paco Candel was a writer and journalist most famous for the 1964 book Els Altres Catalans about the Spanish-speaking migrants who were arriving in Barcelona mainly from Andalucía.

Francesc Candel Tortajada, better known as Paco Candel, was born on May 31st 1925 in the Valencian town of Racó d'Ademús but his family moved to Barcelona when he was two years old and they lived in one of the shanty towns for migrants on Montjuïc.

They later moved to the Cases Barates, literally cheap houses, in Can Tunis, which inspired his 1957 novel Donde la ciudad cambia su nombre (Where the city changes its name).

Although he attended school until the age of 14, Candel was mainly self-taught and many of his more than 50 books, novels, stories and essays, some written in both Catalan and Spanish, were influenced by his marginalised upbringing and centred on the situation faced by the Spanish migrants arriving in the Barcelona metropolitan area.

As a journalist most of his best work was published in Destino but many articles were republished Tele/eXpres, Serra d'Or or Avui.

Candel's best-known work was the 1964 book Els Altres Catalans or The Other Catalans, which was a detailed analysis of the realities of life as a Spanish immigrant in Barcelona, and he updated with Els altres catalans vint anys després (1985) and Els altres catalans del segle XXI (2001).

He was a member of the Catalan communist party, Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC), and was elected to the Spanish Senate in 1977 for the platform Entesa dels Catalans and in 1979, he became a councillor in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat in 1979.

He received many prizes and awards throughout his life, most notably the Creu de Sant Jordi in 1983.

Paco Candel died in Barcelona on November 23rd 2007 and his influence lives on through the foundation, Fundació Paco Candel.


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