The Catholic University of America

Feb. 22, 2010

Acclaimed Spanish Writer to Attend CUA Conference on Her Work


Carme Riera

Carme Riera, one of Spain’s leading writers and literary critics, will speak on her writing at a March 19–20 international conference at Catholic University.

The upcoming conference is titled “Estudios transatlánticos en la obra Carme Riera: voz, escritura e identidad” (Trans-Atlantic Studies in the Works of Carme Riera: Voice, Writing and Identity). The conference meets from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 19, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 20.

A writer of novels, short stories, essays, literary criticism, plays and children’s books, Riera is also a professor of Spanish literature at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She has received many writing awards, including Spain’s top literary prize, the Ministry of Culture’s Premio Nacional de Narrativa, for her 1994 novel Dins el darrer blau (In the Last Blue). The novel tells the story of a group of 17th-century “converted Jews” who secretly practice Judaism, try to escape to America, and are eventually burned at the stake by the Inquisition.

Born and raised on the Spanish island of Majorca, Riera writes many of her books in Catalan, which is one of the official languages of Spain. Her Dins el darrer blau was the first Catalan-language novel ever to win the Premio Nacional de Narrativa.  In 2000, the Generalitat (Autonomous Government) of Catalonia awarded her its highest civil distinction, the Cross of Saint George.

Riera’s novels have been translated into many languages including Spanish, German, English, Dutch and Russian. According to the Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers, “Her position as an influential member of the group of women writers who are changing the map of contemporary literature of Spain is undeniable.”

Keynote speakers and panelists at the CUA conference will include professors and graduate students of Spanish literature at universities including Princeton, Harvard and the University of Chicago, and the Universitat de Vic in Spain.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Embassy of Spain, the Institute Ramón Llull, CUA’s Center for Catalan Studies, and CUA’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

For more information, contact the conference organizer, CUA Visiting Assistant Professor Rafaela Fiore Urizar, at