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Maria Aurèlia Campmany i Farnés

Writer (Barcelona, 1918–1991)

Maria Aurèlia Campmany was a novelist, playwright, poet and essayist as well as a cultural, feminist and anti-Franco activist. She was born in 1918 on the Rambla de les Flors in Barcelona’s old town, Ciutat Vella.

Her extensive and varied body of work was influenced by James Joyce, Catherine Hammett, Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf. She was one of the first women to write in Catalan during the Franco era. In 1960, she co-founded the drama school, the Escola d’Art Dramàtic Adrià Gual (now defunct).

In 1948, she won the Joanot Martorell Prize for her novel El cel no és transparent (The Sky is not Transparent), but it was censored and remained unpublished until 1963 when it was retitled La pluja als vidres (Rain on the Window Panes). In 1968 she won the Sant Jordi Novel Prize for Un lloc entre els morts (A Place among the Dead).

She often used the term “public woman” which served as the basis for her study of feminism in Catalonia. Her words have been set to music by the Catalan singer-songwriter Marina Rossell where they live on in songs such as Soc una dona (I’m a Woman), El penjat (The Hanged Man), Cançó del lladre (The Song of the Thief), El jutge (The Judge).

She also played an active role in politics and was head of culture at Barcelona City Council, as well as a member of Barcelona Provincial Council.

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