Almudena Grandes, Author of Many Historical Novels About Homeless and The Working Poor, Dies at 61

Almudena Grandes, the author of several novels about the plight of Spain’s homeless and working-class women, died May 9 at her home in Spain. She was 61. The cause was an illness called anaplastic lymphoma, her daughter, Nina Gracia, told Reuters.

One of her books, The Dying Farm, is about the exploitation of migrant workers; a scene in the book shows a man eating four hamburgers at once, marveling at the waste. In another novel, The Invisible City, a woman who is about to be deported is sent to check on a mill that is, indirectly, exploiting her, and she ends up at its gates.

After years of fighting in the courts, Ms. Grandes won a formal judgment to stop an undocumented worker from “being sexually assaulted” by the owner of the mill, La Opinión reported. The bill was never collected. And she spoke of her struggle for justice.

In an interview last year with El Pais, Ms. Grandes recalled the first time she was able to address the subject of women who suffer sexual abuse. It was a case involving a mother, Sophia Alkava, a pregnant woman who was beaten and raped for two years by her husband. It was Ms. Grandes who finally found the woman and sought the justice she deserved. When she, Alkava, had finally gone to the police, she said, she was four months pregnant. She and her husband had no access to the abortion.

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