ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Books on Spain -- Before your Travels

Updated on September 20, 2011


When you first look into the country of Spain to visit or to Live as an Expat your first response is the Medias glamorization of it. The woman, Sun, and historical tribulations are seen as the true Spain. I would suggest a possible different approach to learning about this wonderful country. This is a side of Spain that is never seen and often hushed about in corners. There are some books I have come across that are wonderful to read and also provide a glimpse into the less spoken side of Spain.

In the time line of events that surround Spain it really was not that long ago that Spain was divide by a violent civil war followed by years of facisist dictator rule. The leader of Spain General Franco died in the early 1970’s and it was not until his death that Spain actually became the great democracy it is today.  Following some great Spanish authors we can get a feeling for what it was like to live in those dark times of Spanish history not that long ago.

'Guernica' by Dave Boling

There is a town in the northern regions of Spain. In the late 1930’s there was a violent bombing by Italian and German war planes and hundreds of residents died. This was one of the events in Spanish history that even inspired the great artist Pablo Picasso to create paintings of the event. It allowed him to bring attention to the brutal civil war brewing in the cauldron. This novel is based on one family and their lives the family of st Ansogegui. It starts out leading up to and during the devastating war itself. The author revels the internal struggle of each character as they try to come to terms with the war and conflicts surrounding them on their loved ones. This is a great piece of history in Spain and its people a must read for further intonation into the spirits of the Spaniards of the time.

'The Time of the Doves' by Merce Rodoreda

This story is a time capsule set in the capitol of Spain Barcelona. It is during and after the great civil war and it follows the life of a young woman. Because of all she has seen and bend through she must face her demons of depression and suffering. It is not those with a weak heart because it will make you cry. Yes even the men. Then when you get to Barcelona you can visit the La Placa Del Diamant, which is the crucial location of this tale of depression and survival.

'A Manuscript of Ashes' by Antonio Munoz Molina

This is a wonderful story set in the early 1960’s prior to the death of the fascist dictator. Minaya is the characters name and is a student at a major university. The student was demonstrating the chaos that is engulfing all of Spain and was thrown into prison for his role in the public demonstrations. He escapes and runs to the countryside where he tries to finish his thesis and becomes addicted to a story from the past. It’s a story of love, mystery, and the turmoil’s of a young man in touch with freedom during the dark years.

'Winter in Madrid' by C.J. Sansom

Winter in Madrid is a novel set in the capitol Madrid. There is a English men who arrives with orders from the English secret service to a spying mission on a old acquaintance. The time is set in the early 1940’s. Harry Brett the name of the Englishmen is soon engulfed in the politics and love of the Spanish post civil war.

'The Return' by Victoria Hislop

This is a unusual Novel set into the Spanish country side and a little complex to read in parts. But you will soon find yourself immersed into the story of past and present. It gives the story of a first person narrative of the civil war in the city of Granada. It shows how it puts brother against brother and family against family during the civil war. It gives a great account of a brave man in the historic city of Granada so reading this will allow you to get a nice in-depth look into a great city.

On your trip or move into the Spanish culture it will be a personal adventure. Having some guides into the understanding and authenticity of your location can be a great idea. It will allow you to see and experience things that most will not be able to even fathom. It will enhance your sense because you know what to look for but reading ht novels is a first step so take a look.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)