There’s nothing quite like reading a memoir that details a place you are living, but not the time. Even more so I think, if you are a foreigner in that place. A place that you now know well, but that you didn’t grow up in. It opens up a world you know, but from a very different perspective and time. And this memoir from Catalan-born Isidra Mencos is just that. It is an absolute joy!
“A lush memoir and richly detailed exploration of a pivotal time in Spain.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Promenade of Desire is many things at once: a page-turning coming-of-age tale, a gutsy examination of family, a vivid portrait of a vanished time and a place, and a profound meditation on the nature of desire. Mencos is a sure-handed, open-hearted storyteller whose yearnings reflect our own.” — Aaron Shulman, author of The Age of Disenchantments: The Epic Story of Spain’s Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War.
“Promenade of Desire sets the author’s sexual coming-of-age story against Spain’s sexual and political awakening in a unique and intriguing pairing.” — Julia Scheeres, NY Times bestselling author of Jesus Land
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Puente del Diablo (The Devil’s Bridge), Martorell, Catalonia
“A compelling and eclectic narrative full of the unexpected”, is how Nick Inman from Rough Guides describes Barcelona journalist Brett Hetherington’s new book, “Slow Travels in Unsung Spain“.
Reading the book, I myself felt like a bird sitting on his shoulder, seeing all that he sees in wonderfully vivid detail. Because the following paragraphs are also funny as well as entertaining and informative, I chose them from near the end of the book where Brett tells us about what he finds after leaving Barcelona Sants station on RENFE’s Line 4… Read the rest of this article…
Brett Hetherington whose previous book, The ReMade Parent, was featured on this blog, has kindly allowed me to reproduce an excerpt from his latest (but yet to be finished) book.
Brett said of the book:
It’s a travelogue/memoir of mainly a summer trip I did to some of the country’s less touristy inland destinations: Zaragoza, Extremadura, Jaen and Ubeda. I have commented on the news stories of the time and what was happening around me in the street life with local people. I also met and talked to expats who are living “unsung” lives here.
It’s a great little story below. I hope you enjoy it.
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Australian-born, Barcelona resident, Brett Hetherington has kindly shared a chapter from his new book, “The ReMade Parent: Why We Are Losing Our Children & How We Can Get Them Back”. Chapter 5 asks the question, ‘Is Spain a parent’s paradise?’.
If after reading this chapter you’d like to read the whole book you can purchase the Kindle or Paperback version for the current low price of £2.80 and £5.27 respectively.
Spain: A Parent’s Paradise?
Sometimes I’m asked why I am living in Spain.
The short answer is that like many other immigrants I live in Spain because I want to. It took ten years of trying to arrange work here (from outside Europe) but a main reason my partner and I have chosen this country is because we believe it is one of the best places in the world to bring up a young child.
But is there in fact somewhere on the planet that is virtually a paradise for parents, and therefore more likely to be ideal for children too? Is here the place where there is no need to re-make parenting because perfection has already been achieved? Read the rest of this article…
An article from Anthony Turner about his time in Barcelona in the 60’s.
As a young man back in the 60’s, I was inspired to visit Barcelona by Hemingway on reading two of his books; “Death in the Afternoon” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. I drove with my then fiancée (now my wife) down thro’ France, over the Pyrenees and on to Barcelona.
The city had pretty much embraced the “Swinging Sixties” and was then full of young people from the North…. Sweden, Norway, Denmark,Germany… all intent on enjoying the sun and having a good time. The austerity endured in the 50’s was over… young people were flocking in droves to Milan, St Tropez and Barcelona.
We spent much of our time in the Old Town Quarter getting to know the best and cheapest bars, although with an exchange rate of 169 pesetas to the £ we were not doing too badly! We drank local wines and I tried absinthe in an attempt to acquire inspiration of some sort! I understand that Hemingway drank a glass or ten in his favourite bar so the stories go! I believe that although absinthe was never banned in Spain, the Spanish were never much inspired by this drink as were the French for instance. Read the rest of this article…