by Isabel-Clara Simó
Edited and translated by Patricia Hart
troubled history of nineteenth century Alcoi, a textile center located about halfway
between Valencia and Alicante, inland from Spain's eastern seaboard, and the struggles of
Júlia Solbes, a young factory worker who marries her boss, collide violently in
Isabel-Clara Simó's 1983 novel, Júlia. From
the crash emerges a text that forces the reader to radically reinterpret Valencian,
Catalan, and Spanish labor history, particularly as it had been previously told by
Francoist historiographers, and at the same time to question sex roles in historical
fictions of all description, as well as in external reality. The novel was first published in Catalan, but has
since also appeared in Spanish translation. The
date of publication of Júlia, 1983, is important, because it marks the beginning
of the Spanish Socialist government under Felipe González.
Thus, the novel emerged at a moment when significant works in all of the
Iberian languages sought to retell history that had been warped through the forty years of
Generalísimo Francisco Franco's dictatorship
is Professor of Spanish at Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. in Spanish from the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987.
She is the author of one novel, Little
Sins (Tower Books, 1980), and two books of criticism, The Spanish Sleuth [a study of detective fiction in
Spain] and Narrative Magic in the Fiction of Isabel
Allende (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1987 and 1989, respectively). She has also translated two novels by Isabel-Clara
Simó from Catalan into English.
(1998) 256 p.
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