Pilar Francès (Sant Feliu de Guíxols, 1966) decided not long ago to plunge into the beautiful art of literary creation. She has published Quan calmin els mals vents, tornaré (Gregal, 2019) and has also written stories for Revista de Girona and Revista Àncora.
She was recently awarded first prize at the 22nd Àrtemis de Cornellà Women’s Fiction Competition for her story “Davant del Fortuny”; third prize in the Third Santa Cristina d’Aro Women’s Micro-Stories Award with “Velles arts”; and second prize in the Palau Güell de Barcelona Jocs Florals Literary Competition with “L’artec”, as well as being a finalist in other literary competitions.
In 2019 she published her first book Quan calmin els mals vents, tornaré, which is based on the memoirs of her grandfather, a republican soldier who was exiled in France for more than thirty years. This is a story that defends the memory—secret in many aspects—of people who fought in the Civil War, and especially of their exile. These were lives full of pain, loneliness, poverty, and silence. Her grandfather was one of the almost five hundred thousand people who had to go into exile because of the Civil War. He was not a member of any political party, and he did not want to fight in the war. He had already lost many battles along the way. He was called up in May 1938 and assigned to the Republican Fleet for Antisubmarine Surveillance and Defence of Catalonia. Later, he went to France on board the Coast Guard boat “Alcaudón”.
Pilar Francès is currently working on a new project related with historic memory, this time a portrait—based on personal correspondence—of Eugeni Gurnés Bou, CNT (confederation of anarcho-syndicalist trade unions) mayor of Llagostera, who was executed by firing squad in the Girona cemetery.
She is a member of the Associació d’Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC – Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Web page: Sara Serrano for AELC.
Documentation: Author’s personal files.
Photographs: Author’s personal files.
Translation: Julie Wark.