This little square is of enormous sentimental importance in Barcelona as the site of the opening and closing scenes of 20th-century Catalan writer Mercé Rodoreda's famous 1962 novel La Plaça del Diamant. Translated by the late American poet David Rosenthal as The Time of the Doves, it is the most widely translated and published Catalan novel of all time: a tender yet brutal story of a young woman devoured by the Spanish civil war and, in a larger sense, by life itself. An angular and oddly disturbing steel and bronze statue in the square, by Xavier Medina-Campeny, portrays Colometa, the novel's protagonist, caught in the middle of her climactic scream. The bronze birds represent the pigeons that Colometa spent her life obsessively breeding; the male figure on the left pierced by bolts of steel is Quimet, her first love and husband, whom she met at a dance in this square and later lost in the war. Most of the people taking their ease at the cafés in the square will be unaware that some 40 feet below them is one of the largest air-raid shelters in Barcelona, hacked out by the residents of Gracia during the bombardments of the Civil War.