The Garden of Secrets

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Serpent's Tail, Feb 1, 2003 - Fiction - 152 pages
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Over three weeks twenty-eight story-tellers - one for each letter in the Arabic alphabet - meet in a Marrakesh garden to tell the story of a poet, Eusebio, arrested in Melilla in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. Eusebio, a friend of Garcia Lorca and his Circle, escapes assassination and his life then escapes the control of a single destiny. Some tales embroider his shadowy life with stories from Djemaa-el-Fna - the pasha's cook, the slave-market, Aysha and the stork... Does Eusebio betray his Fascist friends by confessing in a show-trial that they indulged in orgies with the youngsters from their battallions? Does he transform into Eugenio the world war two black marketeer from Tangiers? Or does he transmute into the world of Alphonse van Worden, doyen of Marrakesh queens with his Rolls, Indian chauffeur and home showings of Mary Pickford movies? In The Garden of Secrets, Juan Goytisolo tells a moving story as he reflects on memory, history and the mythical power of fiction.

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At the onset of the Spanish Civil War, a young poet named Eusebio is interned at the request of his family in the military psychiatric center in the Spanish city Melilla, on the Mediterranean coast of ... Read full review

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Twenty eight stories told by imaginary storytellers from a variety of walks of life about an imaginary poet who left Spain just before the Civil War, some focusing on his politics, others on his North ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Born in Barcelona in 1931, Juan Goytisolo is Spain's greatest living writer. A bitter opponent of the Franco regime, his early novels were banned in Spain. In 1956 he moved to Paris. Since then he has written extensively on the city as melting-pot, the expulsion of the Moors from Europe and the art of reading. In 2004 Goytisolo was awarded the Juan Rulfo International Latin American and Caribbean Prize for Literature. He lives in Morocco.

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