Lydie Salvayre grew up near Toulouse after her exiled Republican parents fled Franco’s regime. As a child she spoke Spanish, only learning French when she started school. She studied medicine and specialised as a psychiatrist in Marseille, before beginning to write at the end of the 1970s. Her novel La Compagnie des spectres won the Prix Novembre in 1997 and was named Book of the Year by Lire. Pas Pleurer (translated here as Cry, Mother Spain) won the Prix Goncourt in 2014.