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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, who becomes his playmate. Musical and rhythmic, this is truly the work of a writer at the height of her powers.
Mercè Rodoreda (1908–83) is widely regarded as the most important Catalan writer of the twentieth century.
Martha Tennent translates from Spanish and Catalan, and received an NEA translation fellowship for her work on Rodoreda.