Gemma Lienas was born in Barcelona on January 16th, 1951. After a brief stint in the Barcelona’s French School, Gemma Lienas lands on one of the schools created by the Catalan bourgeoisie as resistance to Franco’s dictatorship. Over there, she continues to enjoy a unique childhood, marked by the intersection of languages. At a time when the Catalan language was relegated to the family environment, she studies it on the sly at school. She gets in touch with the classics and falls in love with Tirant lo Blanc while studying Castilian’s Golden Age. Her aunt Maite makes her addicted to the caustic humor of La codorniz while takes advantage of the family library to read the French classics. In the 60s, she begins her Philosophy studies at the brand new Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona.
In the 70s, Gemma Lienas combines her work in a psychology center – that will indelibly determine her interest in the intricacies of the mind– and is involved in the foundation of the first school for borderline children, where she works as a teacher and where she gets to contact with conductivism. Later on, she’ll work as a language and literature teacher.
In the 80s, she changes education for the business world and works as head of editorial department at the newly created Grup Promotor. Then she also gets involved in the newly created editorial Cruïlla, from the SM Group, going back later to Grup Promotor-Alfaguara as editorial director. She also starts writing on weekends at Cadaques. Her first novel, Cul de sac, for a youth target, is a great sales success. In 1987, she wins three literary prizes: the Recull de Blanes, for El gust del cafè, the Andromina in Valencia, for the novel Vol Nocturn , and the Ramon Muntaner award for the young adult novel Dos cavalls. The end of this period is the young adult novel Así es la vida, Carlota, which in 1990 won the Honorable Mention of IBBY (International of Books for Youth).
At the beginning of 90s, a disease forces Gemma to leave her job, while building to settle in New York. On her return to Spain, she rejoins the world of publishing and lives between Barcelona, where she directs edicions Cruïlla and Madrid, where she directs youth collections at SM. During this period she starts working with the University of Barcelona as a technical director and professor in the Technical Publishing graduate program. She also collaborates as a columnist for several newspapers and for two radio stations: Catalunya Radio and Com Radio. In the late nineties, Gemma switches from publishing to full time writing. She settles in
Strasbourg with her partner Enric, but frequently travels to Barcelona to visit her children. The results of this period, among others, are the works Billete de ida y vuelta, which won the Odissea award (1999), El diario violeta de Carlota, for what she received the honorable mention from UNESCO (2003), the Emi y Max series and, above all, Anoche soñé contigo, which marks a turning point in her literary career.
Almost halfway the 00s, Gemma returns to settle in Barcelona. She gets involved in the life of the city, especially with groups working for women’s equality: Lobby of Women from Catalonia and Dones en Xarxa and Feministes de Catalunya. In 2008, the Women’s Council of the Municipality of Madrid gives the set of all her work the First Prize Participando creamos espacios de Igualdad in the category of Arts and Culture 2008. She also collaborates with different radio stations: Catalunya Radio, La Ser, Radio 4, and also as a columnist in El Periodico de Catalunya, El Punt Diari, the Revista Treball and El diario. She starts a creative writing graduate at the University of Barcelona, where she teaches for two years. Her works from this period are El final del joc, which won the prize Ramon Llull (2003), the compilation of article books Rebeldes, ni putas ni sumisas and Pornografía y vestidos de novia, the informative essay against the legalization of sex Quiero ser puta, the novel Atrapada en el espejo, the youth novels El diario rojo de Carlota and El diario azul de Carlota, new titles for the youth series Emi and Max, and the start of two new children’s series La tribu de Carmelot and El Hada Menta.
In the 10s, new technologies are revolutionizing and convulsing the world of books. In the eye of the storm, still not knowing how it will evolve, she opens to new forms of culture and storytelling. She starts projects with several production companies to start in the field of cartoons, feature films, series and TV shows, video games… She also collaborates in the politics section of El País and the tv program from Josep Cuní 8 al dia at 8TV. From this period are the books El diario amarillo de Carlota and El diario naranja de Carlota. In addition, the collection of La tribu de Camelot extends to the publication of a new book every four months. She also writes three books of a new humor collection, The Lousy Club, four more Minty the Dairy books and several books for children. She also continues to write for young adult. In 2014 she writes El rastro brillante del caracol and in 2015 she wins the Premi Fundació Bancaixa with La venjança dels panteres negres. Her last book is about women’s self-esteem and is called Un tresor amagat (A hidden treasure).
In 2010, the Department of Employment of the Generalitat de Catalunya awarded her with the medal Francesc Macia al Treball for her role in the Catalan literature of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century and for her fight for women rights. In recent years, she has held a symbolic place in the lists of leftist parties. In 2015 she becomes a deputy in the Parlament de Catalunya with Catalunya Sí Que Es Pot. Gemma Lienas combines parliamentary activity with creative writing.
- Premi Recull de Blanes de narracions curtes (1987) per El gust del cafè.
- Premi Ramon Muntaner de Girona de novel·la juvenil (1987) per Dos cavalls.
- Premi Andròmina de narrativa (1987), per Vol nocturn.
- White Ravens atorgat per la International Youth Library de Munich (1988), per Dos caballs.
- Menció d’honor de l’IBBY i finalista del Premi Nacional de literatura infantil i juvenil de les Lletres Espanyoles (1990), per Així és la vida, Carlota.
- Premi L’Odissea d’editorial Empúries (1998), per Bitllet d’anada i tornada.
- Premi Ramon Llull (2003), per El final de joc.
- Menció d’honor de la UNESCO (2003), per El diari lila de la Carlota.
- White Ravens atorgat per la International Youth Library de Munich (2006), per Busco una mare.
- I Premi Participando creamos espacios de Igualdad en la categoria d’Art i Cultura (2008), atorgat pel Consejo de las Mujeres del Municipio de Madrid pel conjunt de tota l’obra.
- Medalla al treball President Macià (2010), pel seu paper en la literatura catalana de finals del segle XX i inicis del XXI i per la seva lluita feminista.
- Premi Fundació Bancaixa de Narrativa Juvenil 2015, per La venjança dels panteres negres.
Download here the list of Gemma Lienas’ complete works.
Download here a pack of photographies.