Maria Aurèlia Capmany (Barcelona, 1918 - 1991). Novelist, playwright and essayist. She is one of the most versatile writers in the Catalan language.
She studied at the liberal Catalan Institut-Escola (founded at the time of the Second Republic) and obtained her degree in Philosophy. She worked as a glass engraver and as a secondary school teacher. In 1947, she was a finalist for the Joanot Martorell prize with her Necessitem morir (We Need to Die), winning the same prize the following year with El cel no és transparent (The Sky Is Not Transparent). However, her reputation as a writer was established in 1956 with the publication of her book Betúlia. In 1959, she founded, with Ricard Salvat, the Adrià Gual School of Dramatic Art where she taught, acted, directed theatre and translated works. Three of her own works were staged there. During this period, two novels, fundamental in her work as a whole, were published, though they had been written earlier: (The Taste of Dust) and Un lloc entre els morts (A Place Amongst the Dead), the latter receiving the Sant Jordi prize for 1968. As an essayist, she wrote numerous articles concerned with the situation of women, and also about different aspects of culture and Catalan society. Moreover, she wrote radio and television scripts.
In the political arena, she was a city councillor and was responsible for the domains of Culture and Publications in the Barcelona City Council, while also being on the Barcelona County Council from 1983 until her death.
She was a member of Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC, Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Documentation: Maria Rosa Ruiz González.
Up-dated by Nausica Solà.
Photographs: © Pilar Aymerich / Fundació Capmany / Arxiu AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.