Books

American author Barbara Wilson.  ARCHIVE ARCHIVE

The traveller A mildly deranged vision

A lesbian detective is hired by a glamorous woman, Frankie, who is in fact a transsexual to look for her husband, Ben, who turns out to be a woman. It is (you've guessed right) a comedy about sexual identity

Irish novelist John Banville, author of The Blue Guitar. /  J. LOSADA
John Banville
Writer

'The only function of art is to make us feel more alive'

A leading figure in contemporary literature, John Banville –who also writes crime novels under the pseudonym Benjamin Black– delves into the selfish side of love

Stefanie Kremser during her trip to Barcelona to publicise her novel, The Day I Learned to Fly. /  J. LOSADA

The homeland of affection

Stefanie Kremser presents, The Day I Learned to Fly, a novel that tells of how a girl searches for her mother though in a spirit of joyfulness and vitality

An image of the coastal town of Portbou on the French/Spanish border in 1930.

A revolution through poetry The doubting volunteer

The Spanish Civil War inspired many British writers. Last month's article looked at the heroines of Angela Jackson's novel Warm Earth. This month we return to the war, but to discuss hesitancy rather than heroism, in Stephen Spender's fine but simple poem, Port Bou

Mallorca's sacred monastery of Lluc  ARCHIVE

A quiet pilgrimage

A South African born writer takes us along with her on a pilgrimage to Mallorca's sacred monastery of Lluc

.The cave hospital at La Bisbal de Falset featured in the book

Recovering ignored history Hymn to freedom

Warm Earth, the fourth in our series of works of fiction looking at Catalonia through foreign eyes, tells the dramatic and moving story of British women working as nurses and organisers with the International Brigades during the 1936-39 Civil War

A scene in Tarragona's Rambla, end of 19th century  PERE GIFRA ARCHIVE

An eye for detail

An excellent description of the city of Tarragona by a 19th century Scot whose keen eye missed little

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Success too late Elderly angst

Unlike Colm Tóibín's The South or Lucia Graves' Memory House, the first two books discussed in this series on fiction in English about Catalonia, The Corrida at San Feliu is not wholly successful

One of the original illustrations for the book by John Tenniel depicting the Tea Party.  ARCHIVE

Alice in Wonderland still going strong after 150 years

The book that gave us one of the West's foremost cultural icons celebrates a century and a half of entertaining generations of children and inspiring works of literature, theatre, art and film

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Colm Tóibín: sober, intense master Flight to Catalonia

A worthy start to this series, The South tells the story of Katharine, who in 1950 flees her husband and son in Enniscorthy and comes to live in Barcelona. Tóibín explains Katharine's emotional journey over 30 years