Josep Maria Palau i Camps (Barcelona, 1914 - Palma, 1996) was a poet, novelist and playwright, as well as botanist, entomologist and tourism manager.
He created the figure of the detective Jaume Arbós, the hero of several crime novels of the 1980s, notable amongst which is Assassinat al Club dels poetes (Murder at the Poets Club, 1983). However, his literary career had begun long before with his first play Portes obertes (Open Doors) in 1949, while his poems had been included in Manuel Sanchis Guarner's anthology Poetes insulars de postguerra (Post-war Island Poets).
After 1941 he lived in Palma de Mallorca and in 1962 he received the City of Palma Prize for his novel Els transplantats (The Transplanted), in which he spoke out about the difficult situation of immigrants. His aim, from his earliest books, was to experience his times and write memoirs of them. Hence he criticised aspects of the Civil War, the Franco dictatorship and Mallorcan society.
He was a great supporter of civic group activity and was the Vice-president of Obra Cultural Balear and member of honour and Vice-president at the Islands of Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers, AELC).
Web page updated by Josep Miàs for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.
Photographs from AELC's archive.