FICTION / WOMEN'S STUDIES

A MATTER OF SELF-ESTEEM
AND OTHER STORIES

Carme Riera
translated by Roser Caminals-Heath with Holly Cashman

Carme Riera, hailed as a dominant literary force in Spain, has long merited recognition in other countries. Her prose, with all its intricacy, humor, and grace, has been skillfully transported from Castilian and Catalan to English, and has been brought to our shores with its riches intatct. Her stories focus on a broad range of characters—predominantly female—from the intelectually sophisticated to the plain and domestic, from younger to older, and each is given a perfect voice.

The stories in this collection: "A Matter of Self-Esteem," "Mon Semblabe, Mon Frere," "Against Love in Company," "The Seductive Genuis," "Report," "Surprise at Sri Lanka," and "Recipe Book" display a wide variety of narrative.

In "A Matter of Self-Esteem," Angela, a writer in her late forties, falls passionately in love with Miguel, who humiliates her by using their brief affair as material for a novel which she is caricatured—Angela puts into play a revenge that is sheer genius. In "Against Love in Company," Coral Flora, a teenager who is a gifted erotic poet marries a seventy-year-old man who cannot satify her sexually—she discovers a quite simple solution.

The author weaves her seductive web; the reader can do nothing less than be drawn into it.



"Carme Riera's short stories are as intense and taut as a perfect poem."
—Llibres (Barcelona)

"At all times [Riera] shows a mastery of stylistic devices, a wealth of different voices. Her words flow easily between life and literature, between reality and fiction, but always spurred on by her quest for freedom, her need for uncovering the truth that lies beneath."
—Lucia Graves,
author of A Woman Unknown: Voices from a Spanish Life

"Issues of authenticity and fidelity are the core material of this attractive collection of six short stories and a novella....Sophisticated and fun."
—Kirkus Reviews

“The stories in this collection, with their intricacy, humor, and grace, are now skillfully transported from Castilian and Catalan into English, bringing a broad range of predominantly female characters with distinct, unforgettable voices.”
—Translation Review

Carme Riera is a professor of Spanish literature at Autonomous University of Barcelona. She has authored several novels and short story collections in both her native language, Catalan, and in Castilian and is undoubtedly one of the most prominent writers in Spain.

Roser Caminals-Heath is a professor of Spanish literature at Hood College in Maryland. A translator and prize-winning novelist, she is the author of Les herbes secretes (The Secret Herbs) and Once Remembered, Twice Lived (also published in Catalan as Un segle de prodigis).

Holly Cashman is a Ph.D. candidate in Romance LIguistics at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).



February 2001 • 130 pp • ISBN 0-8419-1411-7 (cloth) • $21.95

Return to H&M homepage