Writers shape their dreams on the cities, project their desires on them and occupy their neighborhoods, their streets, their markets and their squares, their atmosphere, to the point of feeling captive, of making us feel captives of a certain literary fascination. In the case of the history of a city, if it is rich, it often appears as a source of evocation of novels and stories.
This is how Granada is reflected in Literature. Granada, universal city and with its magic history, is privileged in this sense, because few cities have represented such a huge source of inspiration to local and foreign writers.
If you share with us the love of enjoying Granada in literary works, help us to complete this list, providing us with works and authors with which we can all enjoy a pleasant time of reading. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ashur, Radwa. Granada, a novel
- Gerald, Brenan. South From Granada
- Cid Acedo, Aurelio; Núñez Guarde, Juan Agustín: The Alhambra and Granada in focus
- Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist.
- Díaz-Plaja, Aurora. Little story of Garcia Lorca
- Dohren, Derek. The cats of the River
- Dunlop, Fiona. Andaluz: A Food Journey through Southern Spain
- Falcones, Ildefonso. The hand of Fatima
- García Lorca, Federico: Selected Poems
- Gibson, Ian. Lorca´s Granada: a Practical Guide
- Gibson, Ian. Federico García Lorca: a live
- Hislop, Victoria. The return
- Irvin, Washington. Tales of the Alhambra
- Lamplugh, Barbara. Secrets of Pomegrate
- Lee, Laurie. A rose for Winter
- Maalouf, Amín Leo Africanus
- Nicollee, David. Granada 1492
- Nightingale, Steven. Granada. The Light Of Andalucia
- Puerta Vílchez, José Miguel. Reading the Alhambra
- Radford, Cherry. Flamenco Baby
- Rushdie, Salmna. The Moor’s Last Sigh
- Stewart, Chris. The Parrot in the Pepper Tree
- Stewart, Chris. Driving over lemons
- Susaeta. Spanish Cooking
- Tariq, Alí. Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree
- Villa-Real, Ricardo. The Alhambra told to the Children
- Webster, Jason. Duende. A Journey into the Heart of Flamenco
Ashur, Radwa. Granada, a novel
Radwa Ashour skillfully weaves a history of Grenadian rule and an Arabic world into a novel that evokes cultural loss and the disappearance of a vanquished population. The novel follows the family of Abu Jaafar. They witness Christopher Columbus and his entourage in a triumphant parade featuring exotic plants and animals and human captives from the New World. Embedded in the narrative is the preparation for the marriage of Saad, one of the apprentices, and Saleema, Abu Jaafar’s granddaughterdasha scenario that is elegantly revealed in a number of parallel scenes. As the new rulers of Grenada confiscate books and officials burn the collected volumes, Abu Jaafur quietly moves his rich library out of town. Persecuted Muslims fight to form an independent government, but increasing economic and cultural pressures on the Arabs of Spain and Christian rulers culminate in Christian conversions and Muslim uprisings. A tale that is both vigorous and heartbreaking, this novel will appeal to general readers of Spanish and Arabic literature as well as anyone interested in Christian-Muslim relations.
Gerald, Brenan. South From Granada
Part autobiography, part travelogue, and wholly a tribute to the unspoilt beauty of southern Spain, Gerald Brenan’s South from Granada includes an introduction by Chris Stewart, author of the bestselling Driving Over Lemons, in Penguin Modern Classics. Between 1920 and 1934, Gerald Brenan lived in the remote Spanish village of Yegen and South of Granada depicts his time there, vividly evoking the essence of his rural surroundings and the Spanish way of life before the Civil War. Here he portrays the landscapes, festivals and folk-lore of the Sierra Nevada, the rivalries, romances and courtship rituals, village customs, superstitions and characters. Fascinating details emerge, from cheap brothels to archaeological remains, along with visits from Brenan’s friends from the Bloomsbury group – Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf among them. Knowledgeable, elegant and sympathetic, this is a rich account of Spain’s vanished past. Gerald Brenan (1894-1987) was an English writer who spent much of his life in Spain.
Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist
Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book – a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life’s path and, above all, follow your dreams.
Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is more to life than his humble home and his flock. One day he finds the courage to follow his dreams into distant lands, each step galvanised by the knowledge that he is following the right path: his own. The people he meets along the way, the things he sees and the wisdom he learns are life-changing.
With Paulo Coelho’s visionary blend of spirituality, magical realism and folklore, The Alchemist is a story with the power to inspire nations and change people’s lives.
Cid Acedo, Aurelio; Núñez Guarde, Juan Agustín. The Alhambra and Granada in focus
A complete guide to the Alhambra and Granada. 551 colour plates, 92 new and original illustrations, 41 old engraving, 54 overall and detailed plans of the monuments. Information, opening times and other practical advice.
Díaz-Plaja, Aurora. Little story of Garcia Lorca
This book, written with love, is a first step towards discovering one of the greatest Spanish poets of all time, one whose work is enjoyed around the world today. Federico García Lorca was born in La Vega de Granada and was brutally murdered not far from that village. How terrible, deep sad! He will never, ever be forgotten
Dohren, Derek. The cats of the River Darro
What happens to a man when he reaches mid life, loses his marriage, job and home, and decides on a whim to emigrate to a country where he can’t speak the language?
The Cats of the River Darro tells the tale of one such man’s adventures in the beautiful Spanish city of Granada. After hastily training to be an English teacher Liverpudlian Derek Dohren has nothing to lose except his dignity as he plunges head first from one classroom mishap to the next.
Wonderfully illustrated by talented new artist Natasha Phillips this hilariously entertaining book is written in an intriguing mix of straight narrative and fictional short stories with the writer regularly sharing his thoughts on art, religion, quantum physics, and of course cats.
Share the writer’s journey as he uses fantasy and science, God and the afterlife in a glorious attempt to make sense of a world that for him has been turned upside down.
On a parallel earth somewhere in the vast multiverse we call home this book has already zipped to the top of the bestsellers lists
Dunlop, Fiona. Andaluz. A Food Journey through Southern Spain
For nearly eight centuries from 711 to 1492, Moorish rule in Andalucía brought about a revolution in Spanish culture, resulting in architectural splendors like the Alhambra as well as a rich culinary history. Andaluz is a quest to illustrate the legacy of the Arabs and Berbers in the kitchens of southern Spain today. Couscous, rice, eggplant, oranges, apricots, marzipan, and a wealth of spices are just a few ever-present ingredients that owe their influence to the Moorish peoplealong with a meticulous attention to the cultivation of olive varieties that Andalucía is renowned for. By digging deep into traditional dishes, scouring markets, and learning from home cooks, local tavern owners, and Michelin-starred restaurant chefs, Fiona Dunlop offers a vivid gastronomic window on this region. Entries from the authors travel diary accompany sumptuous recipes from Granada in the east to Córdoba at its heart and Seville in the south bringing a taste of Moorish Spain to kitchens everywhere. With beautiful food and location photography Andaluz is bound to become the cookbook you will visit time and time again.
Falcones, Ildefonso. The hand of Fatima
1564, the Kingdom of Granada. After years of Christian oppression, the Moors take arms and daub the white houses of Sierra Nevada with the blood of their victims.Amidst the conflict is young Hernando, the son of an Arab woman and the Christian priest who raped her. He is despised and regularly beaten by his own step-father for his ‘tainted’ heritage.
Fuelled with the love of the beautiful Fatima, Hernando hatches a plan to unite the two warring faiths – and the two halves of his identity…
García Lorca, Federico. Selected Poems
Spain’s greatest and most well-loved modern poet, Lorca has long been admired for the emotional intensity and dark brilliance of his work, which drew on music, drama, mythology and the songs of his Andulucian childhood. From the playful Suites and stylized Gypsy Ballads, to his own dark vision of urban life, Poet in New York, and his elegaic meditation on death, Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías; his range was remarkable. This bilingual edition provides versions by distinguished poets and translators, drawing on every book of poems published by Lorca and on his uncollected works.
Gibson, Ian. Lorca´s Granada: a Practical Guide
This book aims to provide the reader with a guide to Granada. Divided into ten routes, it takes the visitor, step-by-step, from the poet Federico Garcia Lorca’s birthplace in the village of Fuente Vaqueros to the site of his assassination, at the beginning of the Civil War, in the foothills outside the city. The author investigates the associations Granada held for Lorca, who was one of Spain’s most celebrated poets. Areas such as the Alhambra and the old Moorish quarter of the Albaicin, the Royal Chapel in the cathedral where Ferdinand and Isabella lie buried, and the high mountains south of Granada with their view across the Mediterranean to Africa. This book should prove of interest to any visitor of this region of Andalusia, or anyone interested in Spanish literature.
Gibson, Ian. Federico García Lorca: a live
Known primarily as a poet and dramatist, Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca published four books before his early death in the Spanish Civil War. This biography gives an account of his family, his homosexuality and his mysterious death, as well as tracing his literary development
Hislop, Victoria. The return
Already a bestseller in the UK, The Return is a captivating new novel of family, love, and betrayal set against a backdrop of civil war, flamenco, and fiery Spanish passion. The author of the beloved international bestseller The Island, Victoria Hislop now transports the reader to Granada, Spain, in a time of historic turmoil. The Return is a colorful and spellbinding saga of a family inspired by music and dance, only to be torn apart by fragile hearts and divided loyalties during the bitter war that brought the dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco to power.
Irvin, Washington. Tales of the Alhambra
Islamic rule, though fragmented, extended over the bulk of Iberia for centuries, even as Christian warlords, pushing south, chipped away at Muslim territory. The work of the Reconquista, as it is called, came to an end with the fall of Granada and the Alhambra Palace.
Tales of the Alhambra is must-reading for the traveler in Spain and the best souvenir of your visit.
Irving is best remembered in this country for his collections of American folklore, like the stories of Rip Van Winkle and the Headless Horseman, but in Spain they remember him for the Alhambra stories. Irving lived in thel old Moorish palace at a time when it was a neglected ruin, and his wonderful descriptions, interspersed with the folk-tales that he collected from the people of Granada, helped to spark interest in repairing and restoring the monument.
The folk tales, told in Irving’s inimitable, witty style, usually deal with romantic elopements, or buried treasure, or both. Fantasy, history and folklore come together in this beautiful collection
Lamplugh, Barbara. Secrets of the Pommegranate
Passionate, free-spirited Deborah has finally found peace and a fulfilling relationship in her adopted city of Granada – but when she is seriously injured in the Madrid train bombings of 2004, it is her sister Alice who is forced to face the consequences of a deception they have maintained for ten years.
At Deborah’s home in Granada, Alice waits, ever more fearful. Will her sister live or die? And how long should she stay when each day brings the risk of what she most dreads, a confrontation with Deborah’s Moroccan ex-lover, Hassan? At stake is all she holds dear…
‘Secrets of the Pomegranate’ explores, with compassion, sensitivity and – despite the tragic events – humour, the complicated ties between sisters, between mothers and sons and between lovers, set against a background of cultural difference and prejudices rooted in Granada’s long history of Muslim-Christian struggles for power.
Lee, Laurie. A rose for Winter
Andalusia is a passion – and fifteen years after his last visit Laurie Lee returned. He found a country broken by the Civil War, but the totems of indestructible Spain survive: the Christ in agony, the thrilling flamenco cry-the pride in poverty, the gypsy intensity in vivid whitewashed slums, the cult of the bullfight, the exultation in death, the humour of hopelessness-the paradoxes deep in the fiery bones of Spain. Rich with kaleidoscopic images, A Rose for Winter is as sensual and evocative as the sun-scorched landscape of Andalusia itself.
Maalouf, Amín Leo. Africanus
I Hasan the son of Muhammad the weigh-master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from Africa, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia. I am also called the Grenadian, the Fassi, the Zayyati, but I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road, my country is the caravan, my life the most unexpected of voyages”. Thus wrote Leo Africanus, in his fortieth year, in this imaginary autobiography of the famous geographer, adventurer, and scholar Hasan al-Wazzan, who was born in Granada in 1488. His family fled the Inquisition and took him to the city of Fez, in North Africa. Hasan became an itinerant merchant, and made many journeys to the East, journeys rich in adventure and observation. He was captured by a Sicilian pirate and taken back to Rome as a gift to Pope Leo X, who baptized him Johannes Leo. While in Rome, he wrote the first trilingual dictionary (Latin, Arabic and Hebrew), as well as his celebrated Description of Africa, for which he is still remembered as Leo Africanus.
Nicollee, David. Granada 1492
By 1481 Granada was the last Islamic enclave in Catholic Spain. Granada’s last ruler, Muhammad XII ‘Boadbil’, faced the might of the Spanish royal army revitalised and lavishly equipped with modern artillery. Despite this mismatch of strength it took 11 years of hard campaigning before the Spanish troops could bring their guns to bear on the walls of Granada. After this the outcome could not be long delayed. Andalusia, the physical embodiment of the flowering Islamic culture in Spain, was snuffed out. The commanders, forces, plans and campaign itself are all examined closely in this superbly illustrated account of ‘Los Reyes Catolicos’ greatest victory.
Nightingale, Steven. Granada. The Light Of Andalucia
Yearning for a change, Steven Nightingale took his family to live in the ancient Andalucian city of Granada. But as he journeyed through its hidden courtyards, scented gardens and sun-warmed plazas, Steven discovered that Granada’s present cannot be separated from its past, and began an eight-year quest to discover more. Where once Christians, Muslims and Jews lived peacefully together and the arts and sciences flourished, Granada also witnessed brutality: places of worship razed to the ground, books burned, massacre and anarchy. In the 1600s the once-populous city was reduced to 6,000 who lived among rubble. In the next three centuries, the deterioration worsened, and the city became a refuge for anarchists; then during the Spanish Civil War, fascism took hold. Literary and sensual, Steven Nightingale produces a portrait of a now-thriving city and the joy he discovered there, revealing the resilience and kindness of its people, the resonance of its gardens and architecture and the cyclical nature of darkness and light in the history of Andalucia. At once personal and far-reaching, Granada is an epic journey through the soul of this most iconic of cities.
Puerta Vílchez, José Miguel. Reading the Alhambra
This guide puts within your reach in an eminently graphic and visual way the great textual architecture that makes up the Alhambra in Granada, transforming its walls into the pages of the book that you are holding in your hand. Apart from the essential historical and artistic information required to understand each area, the guide includes all the mural poetry preserved in the palaces. It also records all the rest of the extant inscriptions, foundational, Koranic, devout, courtly, exclamatory and sententious, which cover its walls.
Radford, Cherry. Flamenco Baby
Jeremy and Yolande enjoy life in London’s artsy Islington. He’s a novelist; she’s in a flute trio. They love the dance theatre, Spanish films and arm-in-arm walks along the canal. But both are searching for a dark and sensitive Mr Right – and at thirty eight, Yolande is running out of time. When Jeremy offers a ‘consolation prize’ after another failed romance, she asks for his baby. But he can’t face fatherhood, and gives her flamenco instead – tickets for the London festival, followed by classes in Spain. An entranced Yolande returns from Granada having started a cosy relationship with guitarist Javi, and Jeremy falls for Fernando – an enigmatic dancer with whom Yolande has had a hidden brief liaison. So begins a whirl of secrecy, love and jealousy that has them all wondering if there’s more than one way to have a happy-ever-after.
Rushdie, Salman. The Moor’s Last Sigh
The Moor’s Last Sigh traces four generations of the narrator’s family and the ultimate effects upon the narrator. The narrator, Moraes Zogoiby, traces his family’s beginnings down through time to his own lifetime. Moraes, who is called “Moor” throughout the book, is an exceptional character, whose physical body ages twice as fast as a normal person’s does and also has a deformed hand. The book also focusses heavily on the Moor’s relationships with the women in his life, including his mother Aurora, who is a famous national artist; his first female tutor; his three older sisters, Ina, Minnie and Mynah; and his first love, a charismatic, demented sculptor named Uma. Salman Rushdie mentions William Babington Macauley in this novel.
Stewart, Chris. Driving Over Lemons
No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check. Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain. That was the easy part.
Lush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, the farm lacks a few essentials–running water, electricity, an access road. And then there’s the problem of rapacious Pedro Romero, the previous owner who refuses to leave. A perpetual optimist, whose skill as a sheepshearer provides an ideal entrée into his new community, Stewart also possesses an unflappable spirit that, we soon learn, nothing can diminish. Wholly enchanted by the rugged terrain of the hillside and the people they meet along the way–among them farmers, including the ever-resourceful Domingo, other expatriates and artists–Chris and Ana Stewart build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far from home.
Stewart, Chris. A Parrot in the Pepper Tree
A Parrot in the Pepper Tree, the sequel to Lemons, follows the lives of Chris, Ana and their daughter, Chloë, as they get to grips with a misanthropic parrot who joins their home, Spanish school life, neighbours in love, their amazement at Chris appearing on the bestseller lists . . and their shock at discovering that their beloved valley is once more under threat of a dam.
A Parrot in the Pepper Tree also looks back on Chris Stewart’s former life – the hard times shearing in midwinter Sweden (and driving across the frozen sea to reach island farms); his first taste of Spain, learning flamenco guitar as a 20-year old; and his illustrious music career, drumming for his school band Genesis (sacked at 17, he never quite became Phil Collins), and then for a circus.
Susaeta. Spanish Cooking
Discover the secrets of Spanish cooking. All you have to do is follow our step-by-step recipes and the dishes will turn out just as in the photos. Using easy-to-fi nd ingredients, in next-to-no time you’ll be able to treat your friends to a real Spanish meal!
Tariq, Alí. Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree
When the Kingdom of Granada capitulated in 1492 on the Catholic Monarchs, it was established that the rites, religion and Muslim customs would be respected. However, seven years later, Archbishop Francisco Ximénez de Cisneros took possession of the Grenadian diocese with the intention of Christianizing all Muslims, and in 1502 the decree of conversion was published. This novel is an exciting evocation of the daily life of the last Moorish communities, facing the terrible dilemma of losing their identity or embarking on the path of exile. Through the experiences of this family, we witness the reconstruction of a badly known period of Grenada and Spain, in which the enriching coexistence of diverse cultures and religions on the same ground was cut short.
Villa-Real, Ricardo. The Alhambra Told to the Children
The text by Ricardo Villareal and the incisive perspective of the drawings by Pilarín Bayés uncover the Alhambra?s artistic and cultural heritage for boys and girls. Imitating the tradition of oral tales, a grandfather tells his grandchildren the history of the Alhambra and details the architectural and historic characteristics and legends of every one of the main parts of the monument.
Webster, Jason. Duende. A Journey into the Heart of Flamenco
Destined for a sedate and predictable life in academia, Jason Webster was derailed in his early twenties when his first love, an aloof Florentine beauty, dumped him unceremoniously. Loveless and eager for adventure – and determined to fulfill a secret dream — he left Oxford and headed for Spain, the country that had long captivated his imagination, and set off in search of duende, the intense and mysterious emotional state – part ecstasy, part melancholy – that is the essence of Spain’s signature art form: flamenco.
Duende is Webster’s captivating memoir of the years he spent in Spain pursuing his obsession. Studying flamenco guitar until his fingers bleed, he becomes involved in a passionate yet doomed affair with Lola, a flamenco dancer (and older woman) married to the gun-toting Vicente, only to flee the coastal city of Alicante in fear for his life. He ends up in Madrid, miserable and lovelorn, but it’s here that he has his first taste of the gritty world of flamenco’s progenitors – the Gypsies whose edgy lives and fervent commitment to the art of flamenco vividly illustrate the path to duende. Before long he is deeply immersed in a flamenco underworld that combines music and dance with drugs and crime. After two years Webster moves on to Granada where, bruised and battered, he reflects on his discovery of the emotional heart of Spain.