Spring, 1974. After twelve years abroad, Natàlia Miralpeix returns to Barcelona and her family. Change is in the air: revolution sexual, political and artistic is simmering. Franco may still be in power, but his death is only two years away. The younger generation write poetry, listen to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and talk of a freer future. The older generation, though, carry the hidden wounds of the Civil War, their divided loyalties, and their own thwarted dreams, rebellions and desires.
Translated here for the first time into English, Montserrat Roig’s The Time of Cherries is a beloved classic of Catalan literature, bold and startlingly fresh. As it dips in and out of timelines, stories and voices, it evokes a heady, captivating Barcelona that is as smoky, gritty and troubled as it is romantic and sun-kissed; a city and a people striving to leave the ghosts of the past behind, find a place in this invigorating new world and bring in the time of cherries, the springtime of joy.
‘Montserrat Roig, before her untimely death, was a shining light of Catalan literature.’ Colm Tóibín
‘A remarkable writer, who, though not always comfortable to read, is always searingly honest.’ Margaret Jull Costa
‘Roig’s writing leaves the reader with a vivid sense of time and place, but also invites them to consider how quickly real lives become fable, how easily we absorb war, oppression and pain into our collective memory.’ Lunate
‘In two decades of incredible, inspirational writing, Montserrat Roig left an indelible mark on Catalan literature.’ Jordi Nopca
‘Roig wields language as a weapon against political and social “dismemory”, giving voice to those who are otherwise silent, especially women and the elderly.’ Times Literary Supplement