Antònia Vicens (Santanyí, Mallorca, 1941) has one of the most solid and interesting careers among Catalan women novelists.
From an early age she has liked hearing the language spoken by her people and listening to older people. Herein lie the origins of her first stories. In 1965 she received the first official recognition of her work when she was winner of the Cantonigrós literary competition with a collection of three stories, but the real turning point for her writing was the 1967 Sant Jordi Prize, which she was awarded for her novel 39º a l'ombra (39º in the Shade). This work, which was very well received by the critics of the time, was republished by Edicions 62 in 2002. The prize was a stimulus for her writing and she has published many novels since. The critics continue to consider her a tenacious and intelligent writer, who is concerned about the situation of women, solitude and her own land or, in other words, about the changes the island of Mallorca has undergone in the last thirty years and how recent generations have been affected by them.
Besides novels like La Santa (The Saint, 1980), Terra seca (Dry Land, 1987), Febre alta (High Fever, 1998), Lluny del tren (A Long Way from the Train, 2002), Ungles perfectes (Perfect Nails, 2007) or Ànima de gos (Dog Soul, 2011), she has published books of short stories, which have been brought together in the volume Tots els contes (All the Stories, 2005), young people's literature, the books of poems Lovely (2009), Sota el paraigua el crit (2013), Fred als ulls (2015) and Tots els cavalls (2017), and also a book of memoirs written in collaboration with Josep Maria Llompart, Vocabulari privat (1993). She has work translated to German and Spanish.
In 1998 Vicens was nominated acting president of Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC, Association of Catalan Language Writers), of which she was vice-president at the Balearic Islands from 1997 to 2004. In 2016 Vicens was elected Honorary Member of AELC. In 2016 she was honoured with the National Prize for Culture from the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan government).
Web page: Xulio Ricardo Trigo.
Up-date: Nausica Solà.
Photographs: Author's personal files.