CV literari català

Guanyadora del premi Núvol de contes, Barcelona, 2016

Guanyadora de la Lliga de Microrelataires Catalans, 2016

Finalista del premi Tinet, Tarragona, 2016

Finalista del concurs ARC, 2016

dimecres, 15 de maig de 2013

English Translation: The Turkish Chronicle: End


She walks past the old woman covered in black from head to toe. She looks familiar, but there are so many old women in Istanbul dressed in black who follow everybody with their curious eyes. The taxi driver had deducted three lira from her total fare. She doesn't know if he did it because he saw how sad she was or because that was his nature. Never before had she been in a taxi where the driver reduced his fare, however small. The Turks do these things. They haggle as a game, not to get into an argument. They are affable and kind. How she's going to miss Istanbul!... Coffee houses where no alcohol is served, where no one is loud, colorful carpets and cushions, lights framing the mosques with soft curves, fresh mint tea, borek pastry and baklava, light-skinned people with black eyes, the sea and minarets, life lived freely and intensely, and especially...especially the tulips. She closes her eyes tightly and tries to retain under her eyelids all the smells and colors of this time and place. She takes a deep breath. She will always have these memories. They already are a part of her.

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On the airplane she sits next to another woman, young, blonde, with a face that speaks   of having received an unexpected gift. She wears large sunglasses but, when they start talking, she takes them off and places them in her red handbag.
"I know you. You were in the Tower when that guy jumped off," she says, and seems pleased to see her. "He was a friend of mine, you know? We saw each other every day and shared our fear. It helps to share your fear with others. He finally found a way out. I'm glad he did. Life was not kind to him. Surely, he's found a better one." And she smiles, as if apologizing for being so cheerful. Or for believing in hard-to-prove facts. "I'm going to meet my husband," she continues, and her voice is like a moist cloth on a recent wound. "He was working in Algeria, and for seven weeks I thought he was dead. That's what I was told or what I understood. Can you imagine what it's like when they tell you your husband has disappeared? Not knowing whether he's dead or alive. Waking up every day paralyzed by fear. Turning everything off, the car radio, the television. Escaping from people, from noise. Hiding in lonely places. Holding the phone tight, always afraid of missing his call. Because you can't lose hope. Ever. You can't ever stop hoping that you will hear his voice telling you, 'It's all right, it was only a nightmare.'"

While talking, she's overwhelmed with emotion, and her eyes fill with tears. She turns her head and looks out the window at the golden clouds. When she turns back to her, the young woman's face seems even younger and her smile brighter. "Yesterday, I got the phone call," she says. "He's alive."

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Seven rows ahead in the same cabin, Selma is holding Nadia's hand. In her coat's pocket she has the photo of the young man riding the green bicycle. Nadia gave it to her when they decided to fly together to Rome. The past no longer exists. The future even less. With each decision we take, we profoundly change the people we will become in the next second. And maybe more.

Translated by Lina Strenio