Oliver, Maria-Antònia 1946-
OLIVER, Maria-Antònia 1946-
PERSONAL: Born 1946, in Majorca, Spain; married Jaume Fuster (a writer).
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Trigo, Marisa, 93 4437105. Peu de la Creu, 4 08001 Barcelona, 934437130.
CAREER: Writer and translator.
MEMBER: Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana, Ofèlia Dracs (writers' collective).
AWARDS, HONORS: Prudenci Bertrana prize for Joana E.; Llorenç Villalonga City of Palma prize for Amor de cans.
Cròniques d'un mig estiu (novel; title means "Chronicles of a Half Summer"), Club Editor (Barcelona, Spain), 1970.
Cròniques de la molt anomendada ciutat de Montcarrà (novel; title means "Chronicles of the Very Renowned City of Montcarrà"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1972.
Coordenades espai-temps per guardar-hi les ensaïmades (novella; title means "Space-Time Coordinates for Keeping 'Ensaïmades'"), Pòrtic (Barcelona, Spain), 1975.
El vaixell d'iràs i no tornaràs (novel; title means "The Ship that Never Returned"), Laia (Barcelona, Spain), 1976.
Punt d'arròs (novel; title means "Knit-Purl"), Galba Edicions (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.
Figues d'un altre paner (stories; title means "A Horse of a Different Color"), Moll (Palma de Mallorca, Spain), 1979.
Crineres de foc (novel; title means "Manes of Fire"), Laia (Barcelona, Spain), 1985.
Estudi en lila (novel), La Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1985, translation by Kathleen McNerney published as Study in Lilac, Seal Press (Seattle, WA), 1987.
Margalida perla fina (children's narrative), Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat (Barcelona, Spain), 1985.
El pacaticú (children's narrative), Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat (Barcelona, Spain), 1988.
Antípodes (novel), La Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1988, translation by Kathleen McNerney published as Antipodes, Seal Press (Seattle, WA), 1989.
Tríptics (stories), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1989.
Joana E. (novel), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1992.
El sol que fa l'ànec (novel; title means "The Sun That Makes the Duck"), La Magrana (Barcelona, Spain), 1994.
Amor de cans (novel; title means "Dogs' Love"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1995.
Tallats de lluna (novella; title means "Moon Sliced"), Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 2000.
Study in Lilac, Intrigue Press (Denver, CO), 2001.
Also author of Les Illes, a travel book on the Balearic Islands; author of plays Negroni de ginebra ("Gin Negroni") and La Dida ("The Wet Nurse") and of television screenplays Vegetal and Muller qui cerca espill ("A Woman in Search of a Mirror"). Translator into Catalan of works by Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, and Virginia Woolf.
Author's works have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
SIDELIGHTS: Born in the Catalan-speaking island of Majorca, Spain, Maria-Antònia Oliver has written all her fiction in her native idiom and has based a number of her novels on the island, often decrying the threats posed to its traditional culture by urban development and the booming tourist industry. Oliver's fiction shows her deep knowledge of Majorcan and general European culture, and her dedication to preserving her native language and culture. Her second novel and first great success, Cròniques de la molt anomenada ciutat de Montcarrà, is a family saga that "chronicles" the eventual disappearance of the island; the narrative includes traditional Mallorcan folktales and the fantastic fairies and giants that people those tales. In Punt d'arròs, under the marked influence of British author Virginia Woolf, Oliver reflects about domestic life and a woman's quest for her nourishing solitude. Crineres de foc, as Janet Perez wrote, "employs the contrapuntal technique favored by Oliver, interweaving parallel stories of the protagonist's growing up along with the development of her home town, combining environmental concerns with women's need for self-identification."
Oliver has also published two feminist detective novels, Estudi en lila and Antípodes, both with detective Lònia Guiu as narrator, in which apparently unrelated crimes weave stories that come together in the end. The same technique is employed in Crineres de foc.
With another success, Joana E., Oliver departs from the detective genre and presents a kind of oral history in a first-person narrative. Her novel Tallats de lluna recounts the love affair between two men, both ill with AIDS, until the death of one of them and the desperate mourning of the other. Narrated in the first person this short novel shows Oliver's versatility as a writer. The writing of the novel was interrupted by a number of personal tragedies: a heart transplant for Oliver and the death of her husband, Jaume Fuster, in 1997.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Gran enciclopèdia catalana, third Supplement, Enciclopèdia Catalana (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.
An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1991.*