Biel Mesquida (Castelló de la Plana, 1947) is a biologist and journalist but, above all, a writer. Enamoured of knowledge in general and a book lover since a very early age, his youth was marked by the spirit of protest, struggles and cultural effervescence that characterised Europe at the time and also by the particular cultural reality of Catalonia under the Franco dictatorship. Mesquida has imbibed deeply of the great Catalan and world literary traditions and writers like Àusias March, Ferrater and Rodoreda as well as Pessoa, Gide and Nabokov.
At the age of 26 he was awarded the Prudenci Bertrana Prize for his book L'Adolescent de sal (The Adolescent of Salt, 1975), a novel that is regarded as both a symbol of its times and an essential, innovating work in the literary scene at the time of its publication. Notable among his subsequent books are Excelsior o el temps escrit (Excelsior or Written Time, 1975), and the collections of short pieces, Doi (Blather, 1990) and Els detalls del món (The Details of the World, 2005). He has also published the poetry collections El bell país on els homes desitgen els homes (The Beautiful Country Where Men Desire Men, 1974), Notes de temps i viceversa (Notes of Time and Vice Versa, 1981), The Blazing Library (1994). His critical spirit and intense, magnetic language have brought him many literary prizes and other forms of recognition.
He has been a regular contributor to a range of state-wide periodical publications and an active participant in cultural events. He is a staunch defender of the importance and need for propagation of culture in the broadest sense of the word. Biel Mesquida is an essential reference in present-day Catalan literature and, in recognition of his work, was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi (St. George Cross) by the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia in 2005.
He is a member of the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Web page: Mar Veciana for AELC.
Trranslation: Julie Wark.