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Mercè Rodoreda

Author, Catalan
Mercè Rodereda is considered one of the most influential Catalan writers of the postwar period. She was born in Barcelona in 1908, at a time when Catalonia was autonomous and its citizens were allowed to speak, write, and study their own language. She published five novels between 1932 and 1937, and then fled into exile at the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the Catalan culture was brutally suppressed. She did not publish again until 1959. Afterward, she regularly produced novels and collections of short stories and became a fixture on Catalan best-seller lists. When Franco died, most restrictions on the use of Catalan were lifted, and Rodereda returned to Barcelona, where she died of cancer in 1983. (Photo credit: image courtesy of