Amposta, Tarragona, 1985

Maria Climent holds a degree in translation and interpreting and has also studied scriptwriting. Climent succeeded in touching the hearts of a whole generation of readers with Gina, her first novel. The story of a woman diagnosed with multiple sclerosis who wants to become a mother before it is too late became an authentic word-of-mouth phenomenon among Catalan readers and soon reached booklovers in France at the hands of Édition Des Femmes.

  • “Climent’s merit lies in her tragicomic way of facing the other side of joy, in the fluidity of her unerring gaze with respect to her circumstances, and in her ingenious use of comedy to stifle any sign of melancholy.” El País

Bibliography

Who is brave enough to do the opposite of what they’ve always been taught? Three women, a mother and two sisters, and three ways of coping with adversity.

Without really understanding how she got there, Marga finds herself well into her thirties and wondering what exactly she is doing with her life, a question to which she cannot find an answer untainted by her usual acid cynicism. She is single, she works in a flower shop, and she misses – although she won’t admit it – the peaceful life of the village where she grew up, far from Barcelona.

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Novel

Who is brave enough to do the opposite of what they’ve always been taught? Three women, a mother and two sisters, and three ways of coping with adversity.

Without really understanding how she got there, Marga finds herself well into her thirties and wondering what exactly she is doing with her life, a question to which she cannot find an answer untainted by her usual acid cynicism. She is single, she works in a flower shop, and she misses – although she won’t admit it – the peaceful life of the village where she grew up, far from Barcelona.

On the other hand, her elder sister, Remei, seems to embody everything expected of a grown-up woman: she is married, a mother, and has a respectable job. But it goes without saying that her life is far from perfect. Needing to flee from her overbearing husband and an extra-marital affair that is consuming her, Remei recruits Marga to escape to an idyllic town in Tuscany, San Gimignano, where their mother started a new life years ago.

Their mother is a case apart. For years, she didn’t utter a single word. The doctors couldn’t understand the reason for her silence, but then, one day, suddenly, after her husband’s death, she began to speak again quite naturally, as if nothing had happened.

During their visit, the two sisters discover new details of their mother’s life that they were completely unaware of, an oppressive past from which it took her years to free herself, and a terrible family secret that, once revealed, forces them to face life from a new and inspiring perspective.

At Home We Had an Anthem is a truly extraordinary novel. The style is commendable. The handful of subtleties and the depth of psychologies, vanities, and suspicions within it are, for instance, on par with the idiosyncrasies and intricate events found in Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea.” El País

“She is one of the most original and fresh voices in contemporary Catalan literature. [...] The Ebro regional linguistic register, humor, and the female perspective are her main characteristics.” Eugènia Broggi, editor at L’Altra Editorial

“An absolutely fresh voice.” Sílvia Soler

Climent knows that each sentence must free itself from unnecessary words; she enjoys writing because she knows how to do it, and, obviously, readers enjoy it when she does.” El País

“She has her own voice, this author: tender, funny, daring, compelling.” Eva Piquer.

 “Climent advances the narrative somewhere between drama and comedy, with a surprising ability to create Socratic dialogues among the three women, who take stock of their lives as if they were in an Éric Rohmer film.” Núvol.

 “With a bittersweet tone and using (once again) the delightful Ebrenc, Climent addresses themes such as the mental burden of motherhood, the consequences of patriarchal authority, life choices, missed opportunities, and the job precarity of young people. She does this with the sense of humor that characterizes her so well and has become her own hallmark.” El Nacional.

At Home We Had an Anthem demonstrates that Maria Climent has burst onto the Catalan literary scene to stay. [...] Climent portrays this family constellation marked by secrecy, exuding humor and tenderness that once again smooths the gravity of the plot. [...] The best of the book is how the author plays on language, as well as her ability to sketch everyday life scenes with a simultaneously cheery and deep gaze that leaves the reader with a half-smile on their face.” El Periódico

Amposta Prize 2019

Gina discovers life is serious suddenly and without warning. She still hasn’t left behind her adolescence and adulthood, with all its commitments, seems faraway. But one morning she wakes up with a strange sensation in her body and, after months of tests, she is shocked by a serious and unexpected medical diagnosis.

This is the starting point of Gina, a funny, tender novel, bursting with charm, which narrates in first person the tribulations of this unconventional thirty-year-old woman who tells us about her life as if whispering an exciting secret in our ears.

Gina's voice is intelligent, warm and amusing, uncomplicated, direct and very authentic. She speaks to us of love and sex, unbreakable friendships, illness and pain, the desperate desire to be a mother, people with whom she crosses paths, the why and wherefore of things and the meaning of life.

“Through her main character, Climent travels a path that challenges her to assume the limitations of her body, until she finds truth and happiness.” Andrea Aguilar, El País

“A very unusual voice and viewpoint that transforms narrative into knowledge. [...] The chronicle of an experience of growing up [...] with a peculiar bias, humorous and ironic, at times tinged with black and bordering on hopeless comedy.” Ana Rodríguez Fischer, El País

“A novel without a recipe, very naturally experienced and written. [...] One has the impression that the book was written by a mocking blackbird: a hyperactive bird with dark plumage. Solitary, it likes going to places where there are people. This contact with humans makes it laugh a little at everything. A remarkable first novel.” Julià Guillamon, La Vanguardia

“Climent's merit lies in her tragicomic way of facing the other side of joy, in the fluidity of her unerring gaze with respect to her circumstances, and in her ingenious use of comedy to stifle any sign of melancholy.”  Ponç Puigdevall, El País

“A wonderful, fantastic novel. A lesson on the loss of fear. I loved it. It contains huge lessons on fear, sadness and anguish. And it also talks about motherhood, medicine and us.” Bob Pop, A Vivir Madrid (Cadena Ser)

“In 153 pages, Maria Climent . . . relieves pain and precariousness with songs from the Pixies.” Charo Lagares, Marie Claire

“A powerful story that awakens wonderful feelings in the reader. [...] Brief but immense. [...] In just over one hundred and fifty pages she manages to create something magical, striking and intensely emotional.” Blai Garrigues, Negra y Mortal

French Press: 

"Une écriture sincère et drôle, une vraie intelligence de vie, c’est une lecture tonique." Anne Kiesel, Le Matricule des Anges

"Un portrait précis oscillant entre impressionnisme et hyper-réalisme. On se retrouve dans ces lignes, on éclate de rire franchement à certains moments savoureux et jubilatoires, on se fige à la lecture de certaines pensées intimes et manifestement universelles. (...) Une mise à nu courageuse et frémissante." Blog Résonances Littérraires

Prizes

2019 - Premi Amposta for Gina