Catalan Literature: a selection of books to read to understand Barcelona
City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza (1986) : best seller about a young farmer who, at the time of the Universal Exposition of 1888, arrives at the great city, Barcelona, and becomes one of the richest and influential man in the country with methods absolutely no orthodox.
Murder in the Central Committee by Manuel Vásquez Montalbàn (1999) : Where Pepe Carvalho, a private detective eye has to leave his beloved Barcelona to investigate the murder of the General Secretary of the PCP. For Pepe, Barcelona is the center of the world. All things civilized, cultured and worth eating and drinking belong there. Pepe Carvalho will be your best guide to discover Barcelona and in particular its best restaurants.
O’clock (Olivetti, Moulinex, Chafoteaux et Maury): Quim Monzó (1980) : Winner of Spain's 1981 Catalan Critics' Prize, the 16 stories in this collection are premised on unlikely but realistic events whose effect is fabulous and intriguing, they are imaginative and witty in what may well be a dry, Catalonian kind of way, but none provide profound revelation of character.
Rites of death, Alicia Giménez-Bartlett (1996): Each time, history repeats itself : the masked rapist acts, at night, in the suburbs of Barcelona. His young victim of small size carries a mark in the shape of a flower in the arm. Helped by assistant inspector Garzón, Petra Delicado carries out the survey. And it comes out, with much humor.
The gray book, Joseph Pla (1966): in 1918, due to Spanish influenza the Faculty of Law is closed what constrained Josep Pla to return to his parents in Palafrugell. At the age of 21, he decides to write a newspaper, the gray book. The free, spontaneous, enthusiastic chronicle of a young man divided between village and capital, arranged life, teachers and artists, myths and realities of Barcelona.
Diamond square, Mercè Rodoreda (1962): Natàlia alias Colemeta works in a pastry in the district of Gràcia. She gets married, raises her children and becomes a cleaning lady. She loses her military husband in the republican army before knowing the hunger and despair. She marries again with the grocer in the corner during the second Republic.
The taste of Barcelona.(2003) Barcelona is the theatre of certain novels, or simply an evocation in travel or souvenir books in this small collection which extremely skillfully gathers texts from writers of this city. La Movida seen by Theophilus Gautier, Eduardo Mendoza, Montalban, Francisco Gonzales Ledesma, Paul Morand, Pedro Zarraluki and some others.