Merc Rodoreda was born in Barcelona in 1908. During the Spanish Civil War she was exiled to France and later Switzerland. Rodoreda was only able to return to Barcelona in the mid-1960s, where she wrote several prize-winning novels in Catalan, including Death in Spring, which was inspired by her experience of Franco's dictatorship. Rodoreda died in 1983, a few years before Death in Spring's first publication, and is widely regarded as the most important Catalan writer of the twentieth century.
We must be grateful to the Penguin European Writers series, a precious venture in these dark times -- John Banville Dark and beautiful and brilliant -- Sarah Moss, author of 'The Tidal Zone' Merce Rodoreda is not just one of the most accomplished post-war Catalan authors; she is also widely considered, notably by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to be the greatest Spanish writer of the 20th century * Culture Trip * The novel is suspenseful, pushing the reader through the images, memories, and voices that flow within the protagonist's often confused mind as he develops into manhood. Just as the unnamed protagonist must navigate a world of contradictions, the novel reflects Rodoreda's own political, social, and literary exile while speaking of a tyranny that feels almost uncanny in its incantation * Bomb Magazine * One of the most radical works from the past century * El Pais * It is a total mystery to me why [Rodoreda] isn't widely worshipped. . . . She's on my list of authors whose works I intend to have read all of before I die. Tremendous, tremendous writer -- John Darnielle, author of 'Wolf in White Van' A heartbreaking, unforgettable read. One of the most important literary works from the second half of the 20th century * El Cultural * The greatest contemporary Catalan novelist and possibly the best Mediterranean woman author since Sappho -- David H Rosenthal Utterly extraordinary - I have had few reading experiences like it - it's as if one is unravelling a terrible yet irresistible secret, the secret of death -- Claire-Louise Bennett, author of 'Pond' Read it for its beauty, for the way it will surprise and subvert your desires, and as a testament to the human spirit in the face of brutality and willful inhumanity -- Jesmyn Ward, author of 'Sing, Unburied, Sing' * NPR * Rodoreda has bedazzled me -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez Merce Rodoreda's artistry is of the highest order -- Diana Athill Soaringly beautiful, urgent and disturbing... A masterpiece -- Colm Toibin, from the introduction