Carme Riera

Biography

Carme Riera was born in 1948 in Palma de Mallorca. She is a prolific author who has written novels, essays, and has ventured into scriptwriting. She studied Hispanic studies in Barcelona.

Her literary career began with the short story Te deix amor, la mar com a penyora (1974), which was awarded the Puig i Llensa Prize. In 1975 she published another volume of short stories, Jo pos per testimoni les gavines (1977), followed in 1991 by Contra l'amor en companyia i altres relates, and in 2003 by Llengües mortes.

Her first novel, Una primavera per a Domenico Guarini (1980), was awarded the Prudenci Bertrana Prize. The following year she published the erotic novel, Epitelis tendríssims.
Riera has received other awards for her work: in 1989 Joc de Miralls won her the Ramon Llull Prize. Her acclaimed novel, Dins el darrer blau, won the Josep Pla Prize in 1994, the Joan Crexells and Lletra d’Or in 1995, and the National Prize of Fiction awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, which for the first time went to a Catalan text. This piece of historic fiction tells the story of converted Jews from Mallorca, who were later burned at the stake. Cap al cel obert (2000) won the Crítica Serra d’Or Prize. Her last novels were La meitat de l'ànima  (2004), L'estiu de l'anglès in 2006, and the recently published  Amb ulls americans (2009).

As a scriptwriter she wrote Es diu Maria Puig la meva mare? for Catalunya Radio in 1989. For television (TV3) she wrote the scripts for the series Quotidiana quotidianitat in 1994, and for and Dones d’aigua in 1997.

As a researcher she has published among others the following essays: La escuela de Barcelona’ (1988), awarded the Anagrama Prize, La obra poética de José Agustín Goytisolo’ (1987), La obra pética de Carlos Barral’ in 1990, Escenarios para la felicidad: estampas de Mallorca’ in 1994, and El Quijote desde el nacionalismo catalán’ (2005).

She also wrote several children’s books: Quasi bé un conte, la vida de Ramon Llull in 1980, and the short story La molt exemplar història del gos magic i de la seva cua in 1988. El gos màgic and El meravellós viatge de Maria al país de les tulipes both appeared in 2003. Whilst pregnant with her second daughter she wrote the diary Temps d'una espera (1998).

She has translated most of her texts into Spanish. Her works have been translated into French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian and Dutch, and edited Antologia de contes catalans contemporanis  (2001) and Antologia de poesia catalana femenina in 2003 with Baltasar Porcel i Ramon Solsona. In 1994 she was appointed Escriptora del Mes by the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes and, in 2000, the Generalitat catalana awarded Carmen the Saint George Cross for her prolific career in literature. She is a Professor in Hispanic Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

Carme Riera joined the Real Academia Española de la Lengua in 2012 and a year later became the 8th woman to be elected as a member of the academy with the chair ‘n’. She delivered a speech entitled ‘Sobre un lugar parecido a la felicidad’. In 2015 she was awarded the Premio Nacional de las Letras Españolas for ‘the high quality of her writing both in Castilian and Catalan, which combines literary creation and research. Her work has been considered to be versatile and of a universal projection’.

Compiled by Noèlia Diaz-Vicedo (London)

Bibliography

Novels and Life-Writing

Te deix amor, la mar com a penyora (Barcelona: Laila, 1975)

Una primavera per a Domenico Guarini (Barcelona: Edicions 62, 1981)

Epitelis tendríssims (Barcelona: Ediciones 62, 1981)

Jo pos per testimoni les gavines (Barcelona: Laia, 1982)

Qüestió d’amor propi (Barcelona: Laia, 1988)

Foc de miralls (Barcelona: Planeta, 1989)

Joc de Miralls (Barcelona: Planeta, 1989)

Contra l'amor en companyia i altres relats (Barcelona: Destino, 1991)

Dins al darrer blau (Barcelona: Cercle de Lectors, 1994)

Temps d'una espera (Barcelona: Columna, 1998)

Cap al cel obert (Barcelona: Cercle de Lectors, 2000)

Llengües mortes (Barcelona: Destino, 2003)

La meitat de l'ànima  (Barcelona: Edicions 62, 2004)

L'estiu de l'anglès (Barcelona: Proa, 2006)

El hotel de los cuentos y otros relatos (Madrid: Alfaguara, 2008)

Amb ulls americans (Barcelona: Proa, 2009)

Natura quasi morta (Barcelona: Edicions 62, 2011/Barcelona: LaButxaca, 2013)

Temps d'innocència (Barcelona: Edicions 62, 2013/Barcelona: LaButxaca, 2014)

La veu de la sirena (Barcelona: Edicions 62, 2015)

Essays and Criticism

La obra poética de José Agustín Goytisolo (Barcelona: Edicions del Mall, 1987)

La obra poética de Carlos Barral (Barcelona: Península, 1990)

Hay veneno y jazmin en tu tinta: aproximación a la poesía de José Agustín Goytisolo (Barcelona: Anthropos, 1991)

Escenarios para la felicidad: estampas de Mallorca (Palma de Mallorca: Olañeta, 1994)

Perversas y divinas: la representación de la mujer en las literaturas hispánicas: el fin de siglo y/o el fin del milenio (Caracas: Excultura, 2002)

El Quijote desde el nacionalismo catalán (Barcelona: Destino, 2005)

Azorín y el concepto clásico (San Vicente del Raspeig: Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alicante, 2007)

L'arxiduc dins l'imaginari illenc (Palma: Olañeta, 2015)

Children’s Books

Gairebé un conte: la vida de Ramon Llull  (Barcelona: Ajuntament, Delegació de Cultura, 1980)

La molt exemplar història del gos magic i de la seva cua (Barcelona: Empúries, 1988).

El gos Màgic (Barcelona: Destno, 2003)

El meravellós viatge de Maria al país de les tulipes (Barcelona: Destino, 2003)

La família del ratolinet Pérez [illustr. Lucia Serrano] (Barcelona: Edebé, 2014)

Television Scripts

Es diu Maria Puig la meva mare? (Catalunya Radio,1989)

Quotidiana quotidianitat (TV3, 1994)

Dones d’aigua (TV3, 1997)

Editions

Antologia de contes catalans contemporanis  [with Balta Porcel and Ramon Solsona] (Barcelona: Lateral Ediciones, 2001) 

Antologia de poesia catalana femenina (Barcelona: Mediterrània, 2003)