Jenn Díaz, Vida familiar [family life], 2017, 192 p.
Mercè Rodoreda prize for stories and narrations in Catalan 2016 (6,000 €)
Jenn Díaz’ stories break out in the closest everyday life: a girl who breaks off with her mother as she would with a lover, an adolescent who lives the first love and the first death at the same time, the lonely mother in front of the frightened child, the girl who doesn’t understand her sister who doesn’t live at home any longer, a birthday celebration, the father’s secret lover… Of these familiar characters, the writer grasps the moments in which there occurs a rupture, a wound, an illumination. With a whispering writing style, she creates a map of family relations, of the emotional heritage that jumps from one generation to the next, of the daily non-communication, and also of the insecurity in front of a life that sometimes offers too many paths.
Considering that two different institutions (Omnium Cultural and Enciclopèdia Catalana) work together on the book award, the prize money is laughable. The title is not really original, either -this blogger stumbled upon Rohinton Mistry’s Family Matters (2002) a few days ago- but the subject sounds interesting… and the book made it on last week’s list of the ten bestselling books in Catalan (“Cultura/s,” La Vanguardia, Feb. 11, 2017).
SOURCE: Proa (Grup 62, Planeta)