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Forty Lost Years (Paperback)
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Published for the first time in 1971, Forty Lost Years tells the captivating story of Laura Vidal, a working-class woman who becomes a high-fashion dressmaker to the bourgeois ladies of Barcelona during Franco’s dictatorship. Beginning in 1931, with the proclamation of the Republic, and ending in the 1970s, Rosa Maria Arquimbau’s masterpiece paints a vivid picture of forty years in Catalan history. Weaving the personal and the political, Forty Lost Years is a bitter tale that immerses readers into the frivolous atmosphere of a sexually liberal republican Barcelona, and the despair of a country defeated by the Fascists.
About the Author
Rosa Maria Arquimbau (Barcelona, 1909-1992) was a writer, journalist, feminist and suffragist. She is widely considered to be one of the major female novelists of 1930s Catalonia. President of the Front únic feminí esquerrista, Arquimbau did not divide her political and literary interests, writing articles for numerous publications that commented on the changes women were pushing for at the time. Her novel Forty Lost Years is certainly no different, providing a feminist lens on a politically fraught Barcelona.
Peter Bush is an award-winning translator from Catalan, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Peter has translated a number of prominent Catalan writers into English including Josep Pla, Mercè Rodoreda and Joan Sales. Throughout his career, he has won numerous awards for his translations from Catalan, including the Premi Ramon Llull and La Creu de Sant Jordi.
"With the world currently going through a period of free-fall, the first English-language publication of Forty Lost Years feels like a very timely translation, giving us a novel that is big-hearted yet cautionary, as generous as it is ultimately poignant."—The Monthly Booking
"Passionate and cutting, raucous and truthful—the feminist revolutionary classic I've been waiting to read. A supreme and tragic achievement."
—Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young
"In Peter Bush’s masterful, limber translation, Arquimbau’s trenchant and touching account of daily life in Catalonia, from the transgressive, liberating excitement of the Second Republic to the dreary decades of the Franco dictatorship, teaches us as much about those forty years of history as any historian could."—Sebastiaan Faber, author of Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Second Transition
"Forty Lost Years, a story of a woman's struggle to grow and remain free against all odds throughout the dramatic episodes of the Catalan 20th century, is more politically and socially relevant today than ever."—Clara Ponsatí, member of the European Parliament and political activist