Emili Teixidor, who died in June 2012 aged 78, was a leading figure in Catalan and Spanish literature. His novel Pa negre (Black Bread), published by Columna Edicions in 2003, was awarded four major prizes including the National Prize for Culture and Literature. columnaedicions.cat

From a plum tree

"This time of day is like the dead of night," said Quirze Jr., "when all you can hear is the sound of the forest. When the wind is up, the owl's cries that bring bad luck, the frightened screams of the dying, the monastery bells, if the friars get there in time to hear their confession and give them last rites, and the howls of those who die in mortal sin..."

Crybaby covered her ears and begged him to stop. Just like she did when Grandma's stories reached their climax, when the executioner's axe was just about to chop through the pale skin of the queen's delicate neck, or the thief pulled the razor-sharp knife out of his belt and demanded the heart of the youngest, most beautiful maiden.

And Quirze Jr. and I would burst out laughing.

Read on in the digital edition

Translated by Mara Faye Lethem, supported by Institut Ramon Llull



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