Mercè Rodoreda was born in Barcelona in 1908. Her father was an accountant and a great lover of Catalan literature. She was devoted to her grandfather and when he fell ill, she had to leave school to look after him. When her uncle, Joan Gurgui, returned from Argentina, she soon married him and they had a child but the marriage was not a happy one. When the Spanish Republic was declared in 1931, she became more involved in cultural activities and started writing, though she later rejected her writings of this period as juvenile. She continued writing when the Civil war broke out but when it ended, she went into exile in France. She started an affair with the poet Joan Prat, which lasted till his death in 1971. The couple stayed in France during the German occupation but not without difficulty. Rodoreda was writing poetry and painting at this time, but not writing fiction. She made some short visits to Barcelona to see her husband and son, but remained with Prat and accompanied him to Geneva, where he was working as a translator for UNESCO. At this time she again started writing prose fiction, and produced novels and short stories. When Prat moved to Vienna, she stayed in Geneva and it was there that she wrote In Diamond Square, her best-known work. In 1979 she returned to live in Barcelona and died in 1983.