Mercè Rodoreda (Barcelona, 1908 - Girona, 1983) is the most important Catalan post-war novelist for the density and lyricism of her work. She is the author of the most acclaimed ever Catalan novel, La plaça del Diamant (The Time of the Doves) (1962), which may be read in more than twenty languages.
She began her career writing stories for reviews, as a refuge from her unhappy marriage, and these were followed by four novels, which she subsequently refused to recognise apart from Aloma (1938) for which she received the Crexells prize. In the early days of the Spanish civil war, she worked in the Propaganda Commissariat of the Generalitat (Autonomous Government) of Catalonia, and in the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes (Institute of Catalan Letters). She went into exile, living in different parts of France, and then, in Geneva, she broke her twenty years' silence with Vint-i-dos contes (1958, Twenty-two Stories) for which she obtained the Víctor Català prize. With the novel El carrer de les Camèlies (1966, Camellia Street) she won the Sant Jordi, the Critics' and the Ramon Llull prizes. In the mid-1960s, she returned to Catalonia, to live in the village of Romanyà de la Selva, where she completed her novel Mirall trencat (1974, Broken Mirror), and also published amongst other works, Viatges i flors (Travels and Flowers) and Quanta, quanta guerra (So Much War) in 1980, the year she was conceded the Award of Honour in Catalan letters.
She was an honorary member of the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Documentation: M. Rosa Ruiz González.
Up-date: Heura Marçal Serra.
Translation: Julie Wark.