Merce Rodoreda i Gurgui (1908-83) was born and raised in Barcelona. In 1928 she married and in 1929 had her only son, Jordi. She began writing fiction and published her first novel, Aloma, in the 1930s. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 and during Franco's subsequent dictatorship, Rodoreda sought exile in France and Switzerland, where she remained until the 1970s. In 1962 In Diamond Square was published; it went on to become the most highly acclaimed Catalan novel of modern times and has been translated into more than twenty languages. Her books also include El carrer de les Camelies (1966), Jardi vora el mar (1967), Mirall trencat (1974), Viatges i flors, Quanta, quanta guerra (1980) and La mort i la primavera. She was awarded Catalunya's highest literary honour, the Premi d'honor de les Lletres Catalanes, and the Merce Rodoreda literary prize for short stories and narratives was established in her honour. She died in Girona, Spain.