Laura Freixas

Biography

Laura Freixas was born on 16 July 1958 in Barcelona, where she spent her childhood with her parents and her brother. As many Catalans, Freixas was brought up with both Catalan and Spanish at home. She went to school at the French Lycée and then to university to study law (1975-80). She wrote her dissertation on Alejandra Kolontai, a revolutionary Russian feminist, before going on to study at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1980-81).

Before taking up writing full time, Freixas worked as a publisher, translator, editor and literary critic. After her first job with literary agent Carmen Balcells (1981-1983) she travelled to the UK to work as an assistant teacher in Bradford (1983-84) and Southampton (1984-85). In 1987 she founded, as part of Editorial Grijalbo, the collection El espejo de tinta, which she directed until 1994. She published collections of short stories by Clarice Lispector, Günter Kunert and Tatiana Tolstoi, novels by Chiyo Uno and Jean Rhys, Joe Orton’s diary, Paul Bowles’ autobiography as well as the letters of Sylvia Plath, Boris Pasternak, Rainer Maria Rilke, Marina Tsvietáieva and others. Freixas was the first to edit Amos Oz and Elfriede Jelinek in Spanish.

Freixas still works as translator from French and English into Spanish. Among others she has translated Virginia Woolf’s and André Gide’s diaries and Madame de Sévigné’s letters.  She worked as a literary critic for El País (1995-2000) and La Vanguadia’s cultural supplement, and edited a special edition of the Revista de Occidente (No. 182-183, July/August 1996) dedicated to the intimate diary. Freixas has also edited some anthologies: Madres e hijas (1996) a collection of short stories by 20th-century Spanish women writers which has already reached its 14th edition; Hijas y padres (1999); Ser mujer (2000); Libro de las madres (2009) and Cuentos de amigas (2009).

Apart from her novels, she has written two books of essays, Literatura y mujeres (2000), in which she analyses the situation of Spanish women authors in Spain and La novela femenil y sus lectrices (2009), in which she studies the devaluation of women and the feminine in literature. This book won her the Leonor de Guzman Prize in 2008.

Compiled by Maria-José Blanco (London)

Bibliography

Novels and Essays

El asesino en la muñeca (Barcelona: Anagrama, 1988)

Último domingo en Londres (Barcelona: Plaza y Janés, 1997)

Entre amigas (Barcelona: Destino, 1998)

‘Don Mariano y la tribu de los Freixolini’ in Hijas y padres (Barcelona: Martínez Roca, 1999)

Literatura y mujeres (Madrid: Destino, 2000)

Cuentos a los cuarenta (Barcelona: Destino, 2001)

Amor o lo que sea (Barcelona: Destino, 2005)

Adolescencia en Barcelona hacia 1970 (Barcelona: Destino, 2007)

Melina y el pez rojo [for children] (Madrid: Hotelpapel, 2008)

La novela femenil y sus lectrices (Córdoba: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Córdoba y Delegación de Igualdad de la Diputación de Córdoba, 2009)

Ladrona de rosas (Clarice Lispector: una genialidad insoportable) (Madrid: La Esfera de los Libros, 2010)

Los otros son más felices (Barcelona: Destino, 2011)

Una vida subterranean. Diario 1991-1994 (Madrid: Errata Naturae, 2013)

El silencio de las madres y otras reflexiones sobre las mujeres en la cultura (Barcelona: Aresta, 2015) [essay]


Edited Collections

El diario íntimo, Revista de Occidente [Special issue], No. 182-183, July/August 1996

Madres e hijas (Barcelona: Anagrama, 1996)

Retratos literarios (Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1997)

Hijas y padres (Barcelona: Martínez Roca, 1999)

Retrato de un siglo (Madrid: Temas de hoy, 1999)

Ser mujer (Madrid: Temas de hoy, 2000)

Libro de madres (Madrid: 451, 2009)

Cuentos de amigas (Barcelona: Anagrama, 2009)


Introductions

Simone de Beauvoir: La mujer rota (Barcelona: Círculo de Lectores, 1988)

Simone de Beauvoir: Memorias de una joven formal (Barcelona: Círculo de Lectores, 1993)

Santa Teresa: Libro de la vida (Barcelona: Península, 1996)

Carmen Martín Gaite: Entre visillos (Madrid: Bibliotex, 2001)

Colette: Amores contrariados (Barcelona: Alba, 2002)

Jules Barbey D'Aurevilly: Memoranda (diaries 1836-1864) (Málaga: Alfama, 2009)

Constance de Salm: Veinticuatro horas de una mujer sensible (Barcelona: Funambulista, 2009)

Louise de Vilmorin: Memorias de Coco (Barcelona: Nortesur, 2009)

Louise de Vilmorin: Madame De (Barcelona: Nortesur, 2011).

Translations

Anna Kavan: Mi alma en China (Madrid: Modadori, 1992)

Virginia Woolf: Diario íntimo II (1924-1931)(Madrid: Mondadori, 1993)

Virginia Woolf: Diario íntimo III (1932-1941) (Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1994)

Sylvie Germain: Inmensidades (Madrid: PPC, 1994)

Sylvie Germain: La niña medusa (Madrid: PPC, 1996)

Henri-Frédéric Amiel: En torno al diario íntimo (Valencia: Pre-Textos, 1996)

Rosemary Sullivan: Elizabeth Smart (Barcelona: Circe, 1996)

Madame de Sévigné: Cartas a la hija (Barcelona: Muchnik, 1996)

Elizabeth Smart: En Grand Central Station me senté y lloré (Barcelona: Lumen, 1996)

André Gide: Diario, (Barcelona Alba, 1999)

Compiled by Maria-José Blanco (London)

 

Criticism

Lunati, Montserrat: ‘Memoria e intertextualidad en Memoria en venta de Laura Freixas’ (Moenia: Revista Lucense de Lingüística & Literatura 8, 2002, pp. 419-30)

Squier, Susan M.: ‘Fetal Voices: Speaking for the Margins Within’ (Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 10/1, Spring 1991, pp. 17-30)

Trigo-Martínez, Beatriz: ‘Fantastic Literature Written by Women: A Study of Spanish Women Authors in the Twentieth Century’ (Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences 63, no. 11, 2003, pp. 3962-63)

Villalba Álvarez, Marina: ‘Vida vs. muerte en la narrativa de Laura Freixas: El asesino en la muñeca o la inútil medición del tiempo’ in Actas del IV simposio internacional de la Asociación Española de Semiótica: Describir, inventar, transcribir el mundo, I & II ed. José Romera Castillo (Madrid: Visor, 1992) 

Lunati, Montserrat: ‘Memoria e intertextualidad en Memoria en venta de Laura Freixas’ (Moenia: Revista Lucense de Lingüística & Literatura 8, 2002, pp. 419-30)

Squier, Susan M.: ‘Fetal Voices: Speaking for the Margins Within’ (Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 10/1, Spring 1991, pp. 17-30)

Trigo-Martínez, Beatriz: ‘Fantastic Literature Written by Women: A Study of Spanish Women Authors in the Twentieth Century’ (Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences 63, no. 11, 2003, pp. 3962-63)

Villalba Álvarez, Marina: ‘Vida vs. muerte en la narrativa de Laura Freixas: El asesino en la muñeca o la inútil medición del tiempo’ in Actas del IV simposio internacional de la Asociación Española de Semiótica: Describir, inventar, transcribir el mundo, I & II ed. José Romera Castillo (Madrid: Visor, 1992)

Compiled by Maria-José Blanco (London)

 

Interviews

Arsić, Jelena: ‘Laura Freixas: “En todo nacionalismo hay un sentimiento de superioridad y un racismo latente”’ (Jot Down, March 2015)'; available online at http://www.jotdown.es/2015/03/laura-freixas-en-todo-nacionalismo-hay-un-sentimiento-de-superioridad-y-un-racismo-latente/

Blanco, Maria-José: ‘Conversando en Chueca con Laura Freixas’ (Cuadernos de Aleph 5, 2013, pp.171-177); available online at http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/5108/1/MJB_Interview_Freixas.pdf

Burgo Muñoz, Patricia: ‘La cultura idealiza la maternidad pero al mismo tiempo no la valora’ (El Diario Norte, May 2015) available online at http://www.eldiario.es/norte/euskadi/cultura-idealiza-maternidad-tiempo-valora_0_389511383.html

Vallín, Pedro: ‘Laura Freixas: “La cultura te permite un placer que no se agota cuando se agotan los otros placeres”’ (La Vanguardia, December 2011) available online at http://www.lavanguardia.com/cultura/20111227/54241667649/laura-freixas-cultura-permite-placer-no-agota-otros-placeres.html