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 on 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 buzon@ciceronegranada.com.

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 on 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 buzon@ciceronegranada.com.

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.

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

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…

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

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.

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

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.

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.