Stone in a Landslide

by Maria Barbal


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Available to buy as an ebook from Amazon and Kobo.

The Catalan modern classic, first published in 1985, now in its 50th edition, for the first time in English.

The beginning of the 20th century: 13-year-old Conxa leaves her home village in the Pyrenees to work for her childless aunt. After years of hardship she finds love with Jaume – a love that will be thwarted by the Spanish Civil War. Approaching her own death, Conxa looks back on a life in which she has lost everything except her own indomitable spirit.



Why Peirene chose to publish this book:
I fell in love with Conxa’s narrative voice, its stoic calmness and the complete lack of anger and bitterness. It’s a timeless voice, down to earth and full of human contradictory nuances. It’s the expression of someone who searches for understanding in a changing world but senses that ultimately there may be no such thing.

Written by Maria Barbal
Translated from the Catalan by Laura McGloughlin and Paul Mitchell.

Female Voice series
126pp, Paperback with Flaps, £10.00
ISBN 978-0-9562840-1-3
eISBN 978-1-908670-00-7

Press & Reviews

'air-tight believability' TLS

'so vibrant, that it makes me want to take scissors to everything else I read.' Guardian 

'Sometimes the best stories are those simply told.' Independent

'A Pyrenean life told in a quietly effective voice.'  Independent on Sunday

'There is an understated power in Barbal’s depiction of how the forces of history can shape the life of the powerless.'  Financial Times

About The Book


Maria Barbal was born in 1949 in Tremp (Pyrenees) and studied Philology in Barcelona where she still lives today. Since publishing Pedra de Tartera in 1985 she has established herself as the most influential and successful Catalan contemporary author, winning numerous awards including the national literature prize of Spain, the Serra d’Or and the renowned Prudenci-Bertrana prize.


Laura McGloughlin is a translator from Catalan who received a MA in Literary Translation from the University of East Anglia in 2006. In 2008 her translation of Luisa Cunille’s three act play The Sale was published by Parthian and the translation of Manel Zabala’s short story Fiesta appeared in New Catalan Fiction by Dalkey Archive Press. Peirene has chosen her from among four sample translations because of the accuracy and respect with which she treated the underlying text.

Paul Mitchell is a barrister with a doctorate in Persian poetry.