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For this World Series edition, with the help of Guest Editor Peter Bush we turn our pages to Catalonia, and the Catalan language: once banned, Catalan language and literature have survived civil war and decades of dictatorship to emerge in a range of old voices that were once silenced and new ones that refashion old myth, are self-critical and satirical, sexy and playful, as this issue of Litro shows.
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Relive the Catalan World Series by buying the magazine – #106 Catalan
Writers in this issue include:
Dolors Miquel, born in Lleida, has published several books of poetry including ‘Trucker’s Haiku’ (1999) and recently ‘The woman who watched the telly’ (2010) and an anthology of medieval Catalan verse, No one to be seen (2010). She has won the Gabriel Ferrat and Ciutat de Barcelona Prizes and feels immensely privileged to be a woman writing in a nation that doesn’t exist and in a language that is always being questioned.
Teresa Solana’s first novel, Un crim imperfecte, was published in 2006 – A Not So Perfect Crime (Bitter Lemon, 2008) – and won the Brigada 21 Prize. This was followed by Drecera al Paradis. Her work is translated into French, German, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Spanish as well as English. The Party is an extract from A Shortcut to Paradise (Bitter Lemon, 2011).
Najat el Hachmi
Najat el Hachmi was born in Morocco in 1979. At the age of eight, she emigrated to Catalonia, Spain with her family. Her novel The Last Patriarch (Serpent’s Tail, 2010) won the prestigious Ramon Llull Prize in 2008 and the Prix Ulysse in 2009. she had previously published one other book, an autobiographical work, I Too Am Catalan. This is an excerpt from her latest novel, The Body Hunter, published in April in Catalan by Planeta.
Montserrat Roig i Fransitorra
Montserrat Roig i Fransitorra (Barcelona, 1946-1991) was a highly respected Catalan writer, print and TV journalist, essayist, translator, feminist and political activist. She won numerous prizes for her work (Premi Sant Jordi, 1976; Premi Víctor Català, 1970; Premio Crítica Serra d’Or, 1978). “The Song of Youth” is representative of Roig’s later work, which critics suggest shows a growing depth in her thematic, structural and literary interests.
Michael Eaude lives in Barcelona and is active in the city’s anti-capitalist movements. Contributor to Guardian and Independent, inter al., he is the author of the books Catalonia, a Cultural History (signal), Barcelona (Five Leaves) and Arturo Barea, Triumph at Midnight of the Century (Sussex Academic Press).
Quim Monzó was born in Barcelona in 1952. He has been awarded the National Award, the City of Barcelona Award, the Prudenci Bertrana Award, the El Temps Award, the Lletra d’Or Prize for the best book of the year, and the Catalan Writers’ Award; he has been awarded Serra d’Or magazine’s prestigious Critics’ Award four times. He has also translated numerous authors into Catalan, including Truman Capote, J.D. Salinger, and Ernest Hemingway.