Serge Legrand-Vall is a native of Montauban, in the south of France, and grandson of Spanish refugees. He lives and writes between Bordeaux and Toulouse. After three novels published by Elytis, one of which led him to a residency in the Marquesas islands, he received a writing scholarship in 2017 from the Nouvelle Aquitaine region for his novel project “Reconquista”.

“My residency in Jiwar allows me both to concentrate in my writing time, to immerse myself in the particular atmosphere of Barcelona where part of the action of my story takes place and to collect essential historical informations. The novel depicts the itinerary of a former Republican police officer, exiled to France in 1939, disillusioned and alcoholic, who takes up arms in 1944 during the brief attempt to reconquest Spain by the Val d’Aran, led by the Spanish resistance fighters in France. The character, angry with all and especially with himself, obsessed by his failures, relives, the time of this confused operation, his memories of Barcelona from 1936 to 1939, from the lights of love and revolution to the darkness of his actions and his complicities.

Provided with a map of Barcelona of that time, I began here a travel back in time, in the footsteps of my character : The working class district of Gràcia around the square of the Diamant, the narrow streets of the Raval and the Barceloneta, the slopes of Sant Gervasi, the quaysides of the old port … I am helped in my quest for this everyday disappeared, first by the unexpected resources of Jiwar’s bookcase, and by the historical and photographic archives of Barcelona, ​​with very friendly teams.

Thanks to this residence, the characters are incarnated, their environment takes shape and color. Here their heart begins to beat, they act, engage, love, expose themselves, despair. The fiction becomes true.”

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