Pere Calders (Barcelona, 1912 - 1994). He is one of the most widely-read writers in Catalan literature and is particularly appreciated for his short stories.
He first became known in the 1930s with drawings, articles and stories in newspapers and reviews, and, at the age of twenty-four, he published his first books, the collection of short stories El primer arlequí (The First Harlequin) and the short novel La glòria del doctor Larén (Doctor Larén's Glory). He was in exile in Mexico (where he coincided with his brother-in-law, the writer Avel·lí Artís Gener, "Tísner") for twenty-three years and here he wrote what are considered as his finest works, these attracting favourable critical attention from the moment of their publication. Amongst these books are the collections of stories, Cròniques de la veritat oculta (Chronicles of the Hidden Truth) (1955) and Gent de l'alta vall (People of the High Valley) (1957), and the novel Ronda naval sota la boira (Naval Patrol in the Mist) (1966). He returned to Catalonia in 1962 whereupon he engaged in editorial and journalistic work and also managed to find time to write L'ombra de l'atzavara (The Shadow of the Agave) (1964), for which he was awarded the Sant Jordi prize. In the 1980s, he became well known following the success of the stage production Antaviana, a work based on his stories and created and performed by the company Dagoll Dagom. All his books were subsequently republished along with new editions of hitherto unpublished stories. He received the Award of Honour in Catalan Letters in 1986 and, shortly before his death, the National prize for Journalism, in 1993.
He was a member and also Honorary Member of the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Documentation: Jordi Ferrer.
Photographs: Author's personal files.
Up-date: Nausica Solà.
Translation: Julie Wark.