The Time of the Doves – Mercè Rodoreda – 1962 – 34 – Catalan

Title: The Time of the Doves

Author: Mercè Rodoreda

Original language: Catalan

Translation(s): 34 languages

Context: The Time of the Doves (1962) is a translated deeply moving novel by Mercè Rodoreda. This is a powerful tale about a timid, naïve and simple woman in Diamond Square caught up in a violent and jerky period of history. Against the background of antebellum Barcelona, she seems to be out of time and place.

Synopsis: The highly acclaimed classic novel is about a beautiful looking, shop girl named Natalia an ordinary shop assistant, belonging to Gracia’s working class quarter in the early 1930s in Barcelona. During a fiesta in Diamond Square a forceful and charming stranger named Quimet asks her for a dance. Though hesitant, she takes his hand. Later they marry and have 2 children. This is both a bad and good awakening for Natalia. She fails to observe his somewhat dominating and abusive behavior. Their kids a daughter and son are extremely happy with pigeons, Joe breeds, however Natalia feels enraged.


The Spanish War breaks out, laying waste to the ordinary existence of the people and the city. Devastated, Natalia continues to stay in Barcelona, but has to struggle a lot to take care and feed her family.  On the other hand Joe embarks on a war with the fascists. His most loved birds start flying away, one by one.

Other works by the Author:


1932 – Am I an Honest Woman?

1934 – What one Cannot Flee

1934 – One Day in the Life of a Man

1936 – Murder

1938 – Aloma

1962 – Diamond Square

1966 – The Street of the Camellias

1967 – Garden by the Sea

1974 – Broken Mirror

1980 – So Much War

1986 – Death in Spring

1991 – Isabel and Maria

Short Story Collections

1958 – Twenty Two Stories

1967 – My Christina and Other Stories

1979 – It Seemed Like Silk and Other Stories

1980 – Travels and Flowers


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