Category Literature

In which I send my readers over to Books4Spain to read my review of Maria Duenas’s blockbuster The Seamstress

*brushes cobwebs off blog* Well hello again. Did everybody have a good Easter? Mine involved Scotland, snow, a(nother) massive Kindle binge, and a disappointingly small amount of chocolate. On the other hand I did spend a lot of time reading up about Sugar, Cod and Salt, (yes, I was on a commodities kick), so maybe there’ll be time […]

This is not a review of Inma Chacon’s Tiempo de arena (runner-up, Premio Planeta 2011)

This was going to be a review of Tiempo de arena [Time of Sand], by Inma Chacón (above), which I picked up in Tenerife airport a couple of weeks ago and have been gripped by ever since. And then I finished the novel and did a bit of googling and discovered that it’s a sequel! A secret sequel! […]

Helen Forrester (1919-2011), author of The Liverpool Basque, has died

I was very sad to hear today that Helen Forrester, author of the wonderful 1993 novel The Liverpool Basque, has died at the age of 92.  . Of course, The Liverpool Basque isn’t among Forrester’s best-known works- in fact, this vivid and emotional hymn to a vanished community is rarely mentioned in accounts of her career. She made […]

Book Review | Lucas Malet’s ‘The Far Horizon’ (1907), or, the Twilight Renaissance of an Edwardian Bachelor

One of the perks of researching a new project – in this case, From Cervantes to Sunny Spain – is that until you actually nail down the final structure, pretty much anything can count as research. And so, aided by my newly-beloved Kindle, I’ve been splashing around in the balmy waters of late Victorian and […]

Premio Planeta 2011 | Javier Moro, El imperio eres tu (The Empire is You)

 This past weekend saw the award of Spain’s most prestigious prize for fiction, the Premio Planeta. This year’s winner – the Spanish novelist Javier Moro, for El imperio eres tu (The Empire is You), about the first Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro I (1798-1834). This, the 60th Planeta Prize, received nearly 500 entries, which is hardly […]

Un coup de foudre littéraire, or, My First Week With the Kindle

So I’m going to be travelling a lot over the next four months – three or four work trips to Spain and two to the US. And as you know, I love to read. I have a long history of schlepping piles of books across international borders (you have to take a lot because you […]

Books on Spain 2.0 | Rants, Reviews and a new book-in-progress

First up, thank you everybody for the lovely comments on my blogiversary post! Of course, I wrote it and promptly went off on holiday, hence this belated acknowledgment- but now I’m back and raring to get started on the next 12 months of rants and reviews. From September, this blog will also be home to updates […]