Lamar Herrin is the author of five novels, including The Lies
Boy Tell that became a 1994 made-for-television drama starring Kirk
Douglas and Craig Nelson. His short stories have appeared in The Paris
Review, The New Yorker, Harpers and Epoch. He is Professor Emeritus at Cornell University and has served as
director of Cornell Universitys Study Abroad program in Spain.
His latest book, Romancing Spain, is the story of how he met and fell in love with his wife of 30 years.
This biography was last updated on 12/04/2010.
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Lamar Herrin talks about House of the Deaf.
When I was director of Cornell University's Study Abroad program in Spain, I
did my jogging around the Parque Santander. A number of my students did,
too. Three or four years later, an American man running around that same
park was killed when a car bomb, planted by the Basque nationalist
organization ETA, went off before a Civil Guard headquarters. I couldn't
help but ask myself: What if that American had been one of my students? How
would I answer to the parents of such a student should they present
themselves before me?
In spite of Basque pressures for independence, in spite of ETA, Spain remains a charming country, with a ceremonial sense of itself that brings the Old World up to date and takes history out of the museums and puts it squarely in the streets. Then a bomb goes off and all that history gets ripped apart.
Spain has its dark side (Goya painted his dark paintings in a house called "House of the Deaf Man"), and the darker Spain gets the more powerful its pull might be felt to become. As a novelist, I wanted to see what might happen to a revenge-minded American, whose ...
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