[cover image available at the SOURCE]
Maria Àngels Cabré Castells, Miralls creuats: Roig/Capmany [Crossed mirrors: R/C], 2017, 278 p.
33rd Josep Vallverdú Essay Prize 2016
If there are two women who stand out as feminist writers in the Catalan literature of the second half of the 20th century, these are Maria Aurèlia Capmany and Montserrat Roig, master and disciple, friends, and two of the clearest voices of these years of radical political and social transformations. The firs was one lucky enough to enjoy the Second Republic, but the price for it was suffering the [Spanish Civil] war; the second one was born in the postwar period and the Transition [from the Franco regime to democracy] was the scene of her literary effervescence. Both of them died from cancer in the same year, 1991. This walk through their lives and their works is to discover the territories common to them, as there are the city of Barcelona, theater, journalism, Catalanism, and obviously feminism, that has turned them into two indispensable links of our female genealogy.
M. Àngels Cabré: “With this essay I wanted to honor two women who have educated me as a writer, M. A. Capmany and M. Roig, and of whom this year  we commemorate the 25 anniversary of their death.”
M. Àngels Cabré (Barcelona 1968) is a writer and literary critic. She published a biography of the poet Gabriel Ferrater, the novel El silencio [Silence] and the poetry collections Gran amor [Great love] and Si se calla el cantor [If the singer gets silent], and the essays Leer y escribir en femenino [Reading and writing as a woman], A contracorriente. Escritoras a la intemperie del siglo XX [Agains the current. Women writers in the 20th century outdoors], Wonderwomen. 35 retratos de mujeres fascinantes [Wonderwomen. 35 portraits of fascinating women] and María Luz Morales, pionera del periodismo [MLM, pioneer in journalism] (2017). She directs the Observatori Cultural de Gènere [Cultural gender observatory], dedicated to the fostering of gender equality in culture, and she contributes regulary to different media, among them the newspapers Ara and La Vanguardia.
from Marta Hormaechea’s review:
These are two parallel biographies… the author recreates the lives of teacher and student without a strict chronology, switching from paragraph to paragraph in a game of mirrors. […] The two “competent, protesting, without mincing words and above all free, wrote from progressive thought.” […] After reading Miralls creuats, we get an approximate idea of how through a woman’s eyes the social, political and cultural scene of 20th century Catalonia was seen and thought. [Both died in 1991.] […] … “the male and female rebells of a recent past are very necessary as lighthouses.” But if there is too much fog, we need somebody –coincidentally it has been a woman– to dissipate it and who reminds us that their light continues here, even though their books are not published as much as we would like and their texts are not part of the high-school curriculum.
There is a 2016 post on Cabré’s book of women who “swam against the current”.
SOURCE: Pagès Editors (publisher); “Cultura/s,” La Vanguardia, Sept. 9, 2017, p. 15 [printed edition]