Five Leaves Publications- Catalonia

Latest Publication:

Catalans and Others
History, culture and politics in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands

by John Payne
ISBN: 978-1910170243, 200 pages

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The current claims for independence in Catalonia raise new questions about how Catalan-speaking people view their own past and future. The book covers the Catalan-speaking areas of Roussillon (in France) and in Spain the autonomous regions of the Valencian Community, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

Topics covered include the Mediterranean Sea, population movements, revolt and revolution, the continuing impact of the Spanish Civil War, the Catalan language and popular culture.

John Payne has written previous books on Catalonia, on William Morris and on the West Country and on Bath. He lives in Frome. He also writes for the Times Literary Supplement, European Judaism, Catalonia Today, Vida Hispanica, Adults Learning, International Journal of Iberian Studies.


Where the Rivers Meet:
Jesús Moncada

edited by Kathryn Crameri
ISBN: 978-1907869112, 160 pages

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Jesús Moncada (1941-2005) was one of the key figures in Catalan literature at the end of the twentieth century, witnessed by the reception of his work both by the public and the critics. His writing has been translated into over twenty languages and won several important literary prizes. His first novel, published in English as The Towpath by HarperCollins in 1994, is regarded as one of the finest examples of contemporary Catalan writing.

Where the Rivers Meet is the first book-length study of his work in English, and also contains two new translations. Moncada's work has been compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and published in Spain alongside Colm Tóibín and Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Shadow of the Wind).

Kathryn Crameri (Sydney University) has worked with a team of Catalanist academics and translators in preparing this work, including Hector Moret (Valencia), Stewart King (Monash University), Sandrine Ribes and Judith Willis (freelance translator of many Spanish books in the UK). Jesús Moncada published three full length novels and several collections of short stories. His best known work in the UK, The Towpath, was translated into fifteen languages. He in turn translated many British writers into Catalan. His books range through 19th and 20th century Spanish history, including the Spanish Civil War.

by Àngels Aymar
ISBN: 978-1907869051, 150 pages
translated by Dr Montserrat Roser i Puig

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This play, originally written in Catalan, is a sensitive recreation of the story of the orthopaedic surgeon Josep Trueta (Barcelona 1897-1977) and of the personal, professional and political dilemmas derived from his development of a revolutionary technique in the treatment of the injured in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and in London and Oxford during the Second World War.

Àngels Aymar i Ragolta is an actress, playwright and stage director. She was a resident playwright at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya from 2006 to 2008. She has written more than twenty award-winning plays which have been translated into several languages and performed in Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Dr Montserrat Roser i Puig is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent. Her research interests are in contemporary Spanish and Catalan drama, poetry, music and popular culture.

Catalonia (new edition)
by John Payne
ISBN: 978-1905512829 , 340 pages


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Catalonia has been one of the major success stories of the last 30 years. Catalonia brings together an account of Catalan history and culture, and the central, multi-faceted concept of nationhood. John Payne places particular emphasis on the Middle Ages and the modern period, when Catalonia has performed upon the world stage. The book concludes by reviewing the complex ideas around identity and nationhood, and the central role of the Catalan language.

"The book contains several original gems. Payne is particularly original when explaining ecology and nationalism... this thoughtful book is a thorough, loving account of Catalonia and its problems." - Times Literary Supplement

John Payne began his working life as a lecturer in English at the University of Barcelona. He is fluent in Catalan and Spanish. His first book on Catalonia appeared in 1991, the first edition of this book in 2004. He is the author of Journey Up the Thames: William Morris and Modern England. He writes for Tribune, London Magazine, Catalonia Today and other magazines. John Payne lives in Frome, near Bath.

Barcelona: the city that reinvented itself - New Edition
by Michael Eaude
ISBN: 1905512031 , 320 pages


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Barcelona is one of the most visited destinations from the UK – from stag nighters through to academics.

This paperback original looks at the history of Barcelona and the way it has transformed itself from the Franco era to its claim to be a sustainable city of the twenty-first century.

Michael Eaude discusses everything Barcelona is famous for: Gaudi, festivals, food, the Rambles, the football club, modern and mediaeval architecture, the revival of Catalan. He explores the tensions within the city, linguistic and racial, and between the developers and local communities which have their own ideas on how their city can thrive.

Barcelona is particularly strong on the way the city has been described in literature – from George Orwell and Jean Genet to Manuel Vazquez Montalbán and – most recently – in Shadows of the Wind. It will appeal to anyone who has visited the city, or plans to, who is interested in going beyond the tourist hotspots to find out more about what makes Barcelona so special.

"Partly a jauntily erudite guide to the city, partly a sharply written history, Eaude's book excels at spiking his deft snapshots of squares, bars and sites with flavoursome fragments of Catalan lore and literature. Unlike other Barcelona boosters, Eaude knows how hard the road from Franco to freedom proved, and shows us the marks of that struggle. The city's candid friend, but no hyper merchant, he is the kind of companion who even knows (say) that Placa George Orwell was one of the first spots to have CCTV. So Big Brother is watching you - or was, till anarchists severed the cables." The Independent

" ... a lively and impassioned study of Barcelona today" TLS

From El Pais:
"Eaude threads his narrative between literary quotes, historical details and a critical look at one of the most highly reputed European tourist destinations".
"Eaude shares with other veteran Hispanophiles the wish to use writing to smash the stereotypes that the English still hold about Spain"

Michael Eaude has lived in Barcelona for sixteen years, and is fluent in Catalan and Spanish. He writes for the Spanish and English press, including the Times Literary Supplement.

Dictionary for the Idle
by Joan Fuster
ISBN: 1905512066, 194 pages

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Dictionary for the Idle includes chapters on:

Clocks and watches
Xenophobia... and all stops in between.

The Dictionary itself is Quixotic, giving little prominence to the important but providing scholarly essays on the unimportant. This is a book you can dip in to - get hooked, and flip from entry to entry. Many of the entries are allegorical - about living under the Franco dictatorship. Many of the entries are not.

Joan Fuster was chair of Catalan literature in Valencia. During his lifetime he was burnt in effigy by fascists and survived a bombing at his house. In death, his grave was desecrated. He is still revered as Catalonia's premier essayist.

Published in association with the Anglo-Catalan Society.
A Female Scene: Three Plays by Catalan Women
by Angels Aymar, Merce Sarrias, Araceli Bruch
ISBN: 1905512201, 196 pages

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A Female Scene: Three Plays by Catalan Women

Magnolia Café (Magnolia Cafè) by Angels Aymar,
An Absent Look (Un aire absent) by Mercè Sarrias
and Re-Call (Re-Clams) by Araceli Bruch.

Edited and with an Introduction by Dr Montserrat Roser i Puig

This is a volume of three Catalan plays in translation: Magnolia Café by Angels Aymar, An Absent look by Mercè Sarrias and Re-Call by Araceli Bruch with an academic introduction and the transcript of a round table on and about them. The plays and their writers have been chosen because they encompass dramatically different writing styles and can be seen as representative of the type of work that women playwrights are undertaking in Catalonia today.

The three plays which make up A Female Scene are representative of the new direction in Catalan drama where the more feminine values of fluidity, empathy and variety challenge the conventions of established drama. 'Magnolia Cafe' is a subversive re-working of the Comedy of Manners whilst 'An Absent Look' deconstructs tragedy, the bastion of theatrical dynamics. Similarly, in its divergent, empathetic idiom 'Re-call' - an evocation of the free-thinking nineteenth-century intellectual Lou Andreas Salome - underlines this dramatic challenge to the vision of previous Catalan theatre.

Published in conjunction with the Anglo-Catalan Society.