Llorenç Villalonga, Translated by P. Louise Johnson Fum d'Estampa Press, 2021 Library of Congress PC3941.V433A7813 2021 | Dewey Decimal 849.9354
Part socio-political essay, part dystopian fiction, Andrea Víctrix presents a shockingly prescient vision of Palma, Mallorca in 2050. In comparing the anonymous narrator’s ‘traditional’ 1960s values with a future society that has done away with family and gender, Villalonga sets up an intriguing interplay between the narrator and the androgynous Andrea Víctrix, so-called Director of Pleasure, in a powerfully satirical, sometimes ironic exploration of contemporary issues such as gender and sexuality, consumerism, environmental disaster and the politics of big business.
Ferran Soldevila, Translated by Alan Yates Fum d'Estampa Press, 2020
Written in the form of a diary that runs from 1926 to 1928, English Hours is a delightful account of a Catalan in the UK during the interwar period. In it, Soldevila writes endearingly of the country and people that he meets while providing us with an invaluable “foreign” look at this critical period in 20th-century Great Britain.
English Hours is not only an insight into British society during this period, but also provides a detailed look at the way two cultures can clash and yet how, ultimately, it is the people and individuals who make up our countries.
Forty Lost Years
Rosa Maria Arquimbau, Translated by Peter Bush Fum d'Estampa Press, 2021 Library of Congress PC3941.A7456Q3713 2021 | Dewey Decimal 849.9354
Published for the first time in 1971, Forty Lost Years tells the captivating story of Laura Vidal, a working-class woman who becomes a high-fashion dressmaker to the bourgeois ladies of Barcelona during Franco’s dictatorship. Beginning in 1931, with the proclamation of the Republic, and ending in the 1970s, Rosa Maria Arquimbau’s masterpiece paints a vivid picture of forty years in Catalan history. Weaving the personal and the political, Forty Lost Years is a bitter tale that immerses readers into the frivolous atmosphere of a sexually liberal republican Barcelona, and the despair of a country defeated by the Fascists.
Montserrat Roig, Translated by Megan Berkobien and María Cristina Hall Fum d'Estampa Press, 2022
Montserrat Roig’s first novel, Goodbye, Ramona (1972), is a powerhouse story told through the points of view of three generations of women from the same family. Opening with scenes of a pregnant woman looking for her husband after the bombing of Barcelona’s Coliseum, Goodbye, Ramona explores the role of family, women’s relationships with men, the influence the weight of history and events out of women’s control have on them, and the silence in which women live their lives. Sweeping and dynamic, the historical and social mosaic of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Spain is seen through the lives and experiences of these female characters.
The Intimate Resistance
Josep Maria Esquirol, Translated by Douglas Suttle Fum d'Estampa Press, 2021
Dewey Decimal 128.4
A keen and deeply beautiful reflection on the human condition and our relationships with ourselves and others, The Intimate Resistance is an intelligent and thoughtful essay on how we as individuals can warm, protect and guide those around us. Esquirol’s profound, careful, and brilliantly written words introduce us to a new way of thinking about the human condition.
London Under Snow
Jordi Llavina, Translated by Douglas Suttle Fum d'Estampa Press, 2020
London Under Snow is a delicate, compact, mature and profound collection of short stories about winter by Jordi Llavina. Six fragments of different lives in six different moments. In this beautifully written collection, the characters come face to face with their different lives and pasts, all of which are full of ghosts and memories. Sensibility courses through each story, all of them written with a meticulous eye to detail and a careful lyricism that pays tribute to the human condition and the society that we have created.
Bringing winter and Christmas celebrations in a variety of places and cultures to life in a selection of beautifully written short stories, Llavina mixes personal experiences with fictional characters to blur the lines between fiction and reality.
Narcís Oller, Translated by Douglas Suttle Fum d'Estampa Press, 2020
Written in nine chapters separated into three blocks, Narcís Oller’s The Madness is one of the first literary pieces of work to aim to truly analyze the social and genetic causes and results of mental illness. Told through the eyes of an anonymous “narrator” character, The Madness tells the story of a young revolutionary called Daniel Serrallonga and his gradual deterioration into madness and delusion. Set against the backdrop of the political crisis that ripped Spain apart in the mid to late 19th century and laid the foundations of the Spanish Civil War, The Madness is a fascinating study of mental health within both rural and urban Catalan society.
As relevant and entertaining now as it was when it was first published, this lively translation brings this fantastic piece of literature to new, modern audiences while drawing parallels with some of the 19th century’s greatest English language writers such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy.
Winner of the 2021 Ramon Llull Prize for Literary Translation
This bilingual collection of both Maragall’s poetry and prose has been edited and translated by Ronald Puppo, a research fellow and translator at the University of Vic. His keen eye and expertise on Maragall comes across in droves as he takes what are arguably Catalan literature’s finest moments and turns them into eminently readable and enjoyable English language poems. Also included in this collection are some of Maragall’s pieces of prose work and personal letters that shed light onto the man himself. Accompanying all this are Puppo’s own in-depth comments and insights.
Raül Garrigasait, Translated by Tiago Miller Fum d'Estampa Press, 2021 Library of Congress PC3942.417.A77E8813 2021 | Dewey Decimal 849.936
In 1837, at the height of the Carlist wars, a young Prussian man named Rudolf von Wielemann heads South to fight for the "Order." Finding himself left behind in the ruins of an abandoned city destroyed by war, he tentatively navigates his new surroundings in which his sense of self begins to distort and transform. A novel on place and (un)belonging, The Others masterfully intertwines humor and tragedy to explore Wielemann’s encounters with eccentric and enigmatic characters, and his unfamiliar surroundings. Garrigasait’s precise and intricately constructed prose, interspersed by beautifully lyrical passages on music and nature, invites readers to delve into reflections on family, politics, and place.
Poetry & Prose
Jordi Llavina, Translated by William Hamilton Fum d'Estampa Press, 2020
Poetry & Prose is the first time Jordi Llavina’s work has been translated into English and published. The book is a collection of two of his most important and popular pieces of work: The Hermitage and The Pomegranate. In both, Jordi Llavina evokes the sights, sounds and smells of the Mediterranean landscape while weaving together themes of singular poetic beauty.
The Hermitage, a long poem of more than 1400 lines, tells of the author’s physical and metaphysical journey up a hill in southern Catalonia to visit a hermitage. Llavina touches on many themes in this poem, including love, death, family, loss, hope and memories. In 2019, Jordi Llavina was awarded the prestigious Lletra d’Or prize for this poem.
The second piece of work in the collection is The Pomegranate. Again written about a journey, The Pomegranate is a mix of both poetry and prose and tells the story of a grieving wanderer through the Catalan countryside.
Guillem Viladot, Translated by P. Louise Johnson Fum d'Estampa Press, 2022
How does someone experience things from the viewpoint of the other sex? It is this question that has led to Guillem Vildot’s creation of Ruth, the genre-defining story of a sex change told by the protagonist through a series of letters to an anonymous friend. Demonstrating the sentimental and intellectual intimacy of a man transitioning into a woman, Ruth describes a profound, touching process in which frustrations, ideas of liberty, and changes of identity are interwoven.
Without descending into easy morbidity or sensationalism, Viladot expresses his indignation at the limitations of both masculine and feminine sensibilities, while championing diversity of thought, love, liberty, and, most importantly, desire.
The Seven Deadly Sins is an ambitious project bringing together seven of the most exciting, vibrant voices in Catalan literature to write essays on what are perhaps the most enigmatic—and least understood—aspects of religion and morality. Drawing from many different sources, the essayists tell each sin’s story and origin in their own unique way to produce a collection that is frequently hilarious, and always entertaining and informative. In Mara Faye Lethem’s stunning translation, these are essays that can be enjoyed as part of a whole or individually.
Raül Garrigasait, Jordi Graupera, Oriol Ponsatí-Murlà, Marina Porras, Anna Punsoda, Adrià Pujol, and Oriol Quintana are some of the most promising new writers and intellectuals working in Catalonia today. Coming from various backgrounds, these award-winning writers encapsulate the dynamic social and cultural movement that is the current literature scene in Catalonia.
The Silent Letter
Jaume Subirana, Translated by Christopher Whyte Fum d'Estampa Press, 2021 Library of Congress PC3942.29.U3S55 2021 | Dewey Decimal 849.9154
Award-winning poet, translator and academic, Jaume Subirana is one of Catalonia’s most treasured poets, winning some of its most prestigious prizes for his poetry and essays. In an eloquent translation from accomplished poet and translator Christopher Whyte, The Silent Letter showcases Subirana’s sharp observations, delicate eye for detail, stunningly beautiful images, and poignant suspension of the moment.
The Song of Youth
Montserrat Roig, Translated by Tiago Miller Fum d'Estampa Press, 2021 Library of Congress PC3942.28.O38C3513 2021 | Dewey Decimal 849.9354
In The Song of Youth, Montserrat Roig boldly presents eight remarkable stories that use language as a weapon against political and social “dismemory.” Her powerful and striking prose allows the important stories of those silenced by the brutal Franco regime to, at last, come to the fore. The Song of Youth is undoubtedly feminist and deeply critical but, as always, Roig’s lyrical writing gives shape, depth, and significance to the human experience.
Jordi Cussà, Translated by Tiago Miller Fum d'Estampa Press, 2022
A brutally powerful, unflinching account of the heroin epidemic that swept across Catalonia in the 1980s, Wild Horses tells the story of a group of friends as they buy, sell, and consume heroin and other drugs in their hometown. Told through a kaleidoscope of voices, stories, song lyrics, and heartbreakingly all-too-real characters, Cussà’s novel, originally published in 2000, is already a true classic of modern storytelling that is both shocking and captivating at the same time.
Bel Olid, Translated by Laura McGloughlin Fum d'Estampa Press, 2022
In Wilder Winds, writer and translator Bel Olid brings together a stunning collection of short stories that draw on notions of individual freedom, abuses of power, ingrained social violence, life on the outskirts of society, and inevitable differences. Alongside these themes, she places small acts of kindness capable of changing the world and making it a better place. Like a flower that stubbornly grows and blooms in the cracks of the pavement. Olid’s work seeks out beauty without renouncing truth, and never avoids conflict or intimacy. Wilder Winds creates scenes and fragile, yet hardy characters that will stay with the reader for years to come.