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March 2022

Spotlight on Catalan Writing

Image: Núria Guinovart, "Impuls." Mixed on wood, 60 x 100 cm. Sala Parés (art gallery), Barcelona.

This month we’re celebrating authors participating in the Catalan Culture Spotlight at the London Book Fair in April. Each week, we’ll publish a new translation of a piece by one of the featured writers. We launch with Irene Solà channeling an overwhelmed widowed mother, and an illuminating interview with the author conducted by Madeleine Feeny. In later weeks, Eva Baltasar finds an idyllic relationship complicated by pregnancy; Marta Orriols observes a drunken woman ride the subway into memory; Sergi Pàmies shows life change shape in an instant; and Borja Bagunyà shadows a guest at the party from hell.

Book Reviews

María Gainza’s “Portrait of an Unknown Lady”: Operation Three Women

Reviewed by Alex Gilvarry

María Gainza's latest novel follows the trail of an enigmatic, brilliant forger with intriguing results.

Elena Ferrante’s “In the Margins”: Crafted Layers of Truth

Reviewed by Maris Kreizman

Elena Ferrante's essay collection examines the pleasures of reading and writing with the author's characteristic flair for violent honesty.

Halldór Laxness’s “Salka Valka”: Claustrophobia amid the Vastness

Reviewed by Hannah Weber

Halldór Laxness's 1931 novel is a sometimes harrowing coming-of-age story of a young woman in a remote Icelandic fishing village.

Olga Tokarczuk’s “The Books of Jacob”: Witnesses to the Messiah

Reviewed by Tara Wanda Merrigan

Olga Tokarczuk's long-awaited opus tells the stories of the followers of Jacob Frank, an eighteenth-century messianic figure.

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