Two Spanish best-selling novelists and two prominent historians examine what each can learn from the other’s discipline. A
lively debate open to the public on the relationship between literature and history.
Two of Spain’s greatest novelists whose work is suffused with an awareness of Spain’s contemporary history and politics debate with two historians to see what each can learn from the other.
Helen Graham is Professor of Modern European History at Royal Holloway University of London. Her internationally acclaimed work on the Spanish civil war includes the highly influential The Spanish Republic at War 1936-1939 (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and the hugely popular The Spanish Civil War. A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Eduardo Mendoza is one of Spain’s most successful and respected novelists. His books range from four hysterically funny novels about an unnamed deranged detective, in which he lampoons Francoist rhetoric, to rich historical evocations of Barcelona, including La verdad sobre el caso Savolta (1975) and La ciudad de los prodigios (1986). He won the Planeta Prize in 2010 for his book on the origins of the Spanish Civil War Riña de gatos. Madrid 1936.
Lorenzo Silva is one of the most distinguished and accomplished novelists in the genre of serie noir. His most successful work has been his series of 11 novels that follow the careers of two Civil Guards, Rúben Bevilacqua and Virginia Chamorro. These intriguing thrillers are also perceptive examinations of the development both of the Civil Guard but also of Spanish politics since the transition to democracy. He won the Planeta Prize in 2012 for his book La marca del meridiano.
Paul Preston is Príncipe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies at the LSE. His many books on Spain include major biographies of General Franco and King Juan Carlos and several works on the Civil War including The Spanish Holocaust and The Last Days of the Spanish Republic.
The Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies runs a series of lectures, seminars and debates in order to disseminate and encourage knowledge of contemporary Spain. It also sponsors the publication of an important series of books on contemporary Spain.
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