Maria Barbal

Biografia

 

 Maria Barbal was born in Tremp, the capital of Pallars Jussà, in 1949. She explains: «I am a woman. Born in Tremp, and therefore, trempolina. I spent my childhood and first youth in the Pallars region. Hundreds of days in Pallars Jussà and hundreds of hours in Pallars Sobirà.» She considers it a privilege having been able to freely play in the street when she was a young girl and being in contact with rural work and nature: «My parents gave me what they were never able to have: instruction from a young age; but it was the fifties and schools exuded submissiveness, Catalan was ignored. Additionally, as opposed to my parents, I didn’t have to worry about any kind of work that wasn’t studying. My brother and I, like the majority of boys and girls from Tremp, learned to swim in the Sant Antoni reservoir. It’s already vacation time, but the best ones we had were the first years, in Àssua Valley, in my godmother’s house, when sown soil was still there and livestock roamed free. Quite far, as if it were a game without any effort, I got to know the typical summer work. Reaping, making a sheaf, beating… It was the end of an era that, when I turned twelve, had already ended for the house of my mother, during times of large influxes of families from the mountains towards the cities.»

To continue her bachelor degree education, she went to live in Barcelona in 1964, where she studied philosophy and arts in the Central University. Once completed, she began her teaching career. With here first novel, Pedra de tartera, she won the Joaquim Ruyra award in 1984. Since then, she has published seven novels, three story books, a theatre work and a book about the Pallars region.

The author’s favourite themes are personal maturity in time through experiences provoked by changes and migrations (rural-city), the complexity of human relationships (couple, father-children, and friendship), and the nuances of feelings. In her latest books, she has put her childhood worlds to the side and has taken material for her stories from an urbane environment, dealing with subjects such as emigration in Carrer Bolívia (1999), beauty and the passing of time in Bella edat (2003) or the homeless in Emma (2008).

 

WORK-RELATED ROUTES

Pedra de tartera (Novel)
Mel i metzines (Novel)
País íntim (Novel)