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Imma Monsó: As funny, ironic and intelligent as ever

Imma Monsó (LLeida, 1959) has published eight novels to great critical and public acclaim: No se sap mai (One Never Knows), which was immediately translated into Spanish and was winner of the Tigre Juan Prize for the best first novel to be published in Spain, Com unes vacances (Like a Holiday) and Tot un caràcter (A Total Character), while her novel Millor que no m'ho expliquis (Better Don't Tell Me), was runner-up for the prestigious Llibreter Prize awarded by the Bookseller's Association of Catalonia. Lately she has been honored with the National Prize of Culture in Literature (2013). She holds a degree in French Language and Literature and is an expert in applied linguistics. She works as a teacher of foreign languages. Her work has been translated into Dutch, Hungarian, Italian and Spanish and French.

La dona veloç (The Fast Woman)

“A moral reflection and exemplary lesson on how to live life.” 
“At this moment in time we can say that this is one of the best books to have received the Ramon Llull prize.”

Nes grew up in a family that was divided into to those who were Fast and those who were Slow. She was in the speedy category along with her sister, her father? who did slow down over time?and her grandmother. The rest were slow and, sooner or later, paid a price for that. Now a 48-year-old psychiatrist, Nes finds herself trapped in her accelerated perception of time. She is always trying to race the clock and is a slave to her iphone calendar. She can’t remember what it is like to be bored. She’s addicted to Pac-Man, but the “enemies” that alternately pursue her and flee from her are not Inky, Binky, Pinky and Clyde, but her slow relatives. She soon realizes that she is trapped in a video game-like maze and that she too has paid a price for her obsession with cutting corners. Nes sets out on a mental and physical journey to free herself from the tyranny of the clock that has robbed her of time to stop and think. In the end, she has to come to terms with her past. The Fast Womanis about a 21st-century curse: the lack of time. At turns hilarious or glaringly perceptive, readers will surely find many points in common with Nes’s voyage.

Who I Am and Why I Write...

How I Began to Write

I've been writing all my life and, I suppose, for the same reason that everyone else writes -to ease a little the solitude to which we are condemned, a kind of solitude, a kind of internal exile that cannot be healed by simple conversation, however intense it may be. I used to write without ever finishing anything. In general I don't like finished things. I always prefer to have an open door there. Again, I suddenly find that I'm distracted by other enthusiasms, or other obsessions, or other inventions ? I see myself as always having some or other craze, always working like mad but never doing what I'm supposed to be doing ? That's why, for many years, I missed out on reading García Márquez, who's obligatory. I remember that during that period I was reading Henry Miller, Dorothy Parker and Virginia Woolf and I guess I was thinking that there was no way that someone who was in the middle of "schooling" could be a great writer. No doubt I was wrong, but that's how my discovery of writing came later.

Not doing what you're meant to be doing and giving yourself over to your passions has its drawbacks. I've never managed to be a disciplined person. However, this has also turned out to be very productive intellectually and emotionally. I've learnt a lot from my crazes because, in the long run, I've touched on many different matters ? And I've gone deep into my crazes, taken them to the limits ? Then, at last, the act of writing was like finding a place where I felt at home in the world, because every book is like that, a long obsessive period during which everything you see, all you learn, all the trips you do and all the books you read are filtered through the issues you want to deal with in the book you're writing. Continue reading...

If you want to cite this page...

Literary news about Imma Monsó in Lletra, Catalan literature online at the Open University of Catalonia


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