The Selected Stories of Mercè Rodoreda
February 15, 2011
stories | pb | 250 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"
"The humor in the stories, as well as their thrill of realism, comes from a Nabokovian precision of observation and transformation of plain experience into enchanting prose."
—Los Angeles Times
Collected here are thirty of Mercè Rodoreda’s most moving and challenging stories, presented in chronological order of their publication from three of Rodoreda’s most beloved short story collections:Twenty-Two Stories, It Seemed Like Silk and Other Stories, and My Christina and Other Stories. These stories capture Rodoreda’s full range of expression, from quiet literary realism to fragmentary impressionism to dark symbolism. Few writers have captured so clearly, or explored so deeply, the lives of women who are stuck somewhere between senseless modernity and suffocating tradition—Rodoreda’s “women are notable for their almost pathological lack of volition, but also for their acute sensitivity, a nearly painful awareness of beauty” (Natasha Wimmer).
Translated from the Catalan by Martha Tennent
About the Author: Mercè Rodoreda (1908–1983) is widely regarded as the most important Catalan writer of the twentieth century. Exiled in France and Switzerland following the Spanish Civil War, Rodoreda began writing the novels and short stories—Twenty-two Short Stories,The Times of the Doves, Camellia Street, Garden by the Sea—that would eventually make her internationally famous, while at the same time earning a living as a seamstress. In the mid-1960s she returned to Catalonia, where she continued to write. Death in Spring, her final novel, is also available from Open Letter.
About the Translator: Martha Tennent is an English-language translator who works primarily from Catalan and Spanish. She was born in the United States, but has lived most of her life in Barcelona. She received a fellowship from the NEA for her translation of The Selected Stories of Mercè Rodoreda. Her work has appeared in Epiphany, Two Lines, Words Without Borders, A Public Space, World Literature Today, PEN America, and Review of Contemporary Fiction.
"Rodoreda plumbs a sadness that reaches beyond historic circumstances . . . an almost voluptuous vulnerability."