Lushly surreal, Rodoreda's masterpiece is a mythological depiction of a city ruled by rituals, almost like Franco's Spain. Death In Spring tells the story of the bizarre and destructive customs of a nameless town - burying the dead in trees after filling their mouths with cement to prevent their soul from escaping, or sending a man to swim in the river that courses underneath the town - through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old boy who must come to terms with the rhyme and reason of this ritual violence, and with his wild, child-like and teenaged stepmother.
Merce Rodoreda is widely regarded as the most important Catalan writer of the twentieth century. Exiled to France during the Spanish Civil War, and only able to return to Catalonia in the mid-1960s, she wrote a number of highly praised works, including The Time of the Doves and Death in Spring. Martha Tennent was born in the U.S, but has lived most of her life in Barcelona where she served as founding dean of the School of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Vic. She translates from Spanish and Catalan, and received an NEA Translation Fellowship for her work on Rodoreda.