I have never been to Spain. I have never stayed on a bull ranch just outside of Seville, where the heat beats down on the olive groves, and the smell of saffron permeates the thick atmosphere. I have never breathed in the air there, "which smells like fruit and sun and the color blue."
But after reading Small Damages
I feel like I have.
A small disclaimer here: I am obsessed with landscape. I am deeply fascinated by the way place helps shape the people who live there; how the smells and sounds and tactile details of place can influence them; how the stories embedded in the dirt, inside the trunk of a tree, and settled at the bottom of a river can nurture them. In fiction, a vividly drawn landscape can ground the reader. It can help the reader rest comfortably inside the story because she knows by way of her senses where she is. Beth Kephart is...
Beyond the Book
Located in the southern part of Spain, Seville is Andalusia's capital and its biggest city. The Guadalquivir River runs through the city, which is close to the Atlantic Ocean.
Iberians founded Seville, which was later the center of many conquests and settlements by the Romans, Vandals and Visigoths. The Moors conquered it in 712 AD, and then Ferdinand the III of Castile did the same in 1248 AD. The city especially prospered during the time of New World discoveries...