The Age of Disenchantments Summary and Reviews

The Age of Disenchantments

The Epic Story of Spain's Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War

by Aaron Shulman

The Age of Disenchantments by Aaron Shulman X
The Age of Disenchantments by Aaron Shulman
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2019
    496 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

A gripping narrative history of Spain's most brilliant and troubled literary family - a tale about the making of art, myth, and legacy - set against the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War and beyond.

In this absorbing and atmospheric historical narrative, journalist Aaron Shulman takes us deeply into the circumstances surrounding the Spanish Civil War through the lives, loves, and poetry of the Paneros, Spain's most compelling and eccentric family, whose lives intersected memorably with many of the most storied figures in the art, literature, and politics of the time - from Neruda to Salvador Dalí, from Ava Gardner to Pablo Picasso to Roberto Bolaño.

Weaving memoir with cultural history and biography, and brought together with vivid storytelling and striking images, The Age of Disenchantments sheds new light on the romance and intellectual ferment of the era while revealing the profound and enduring devastation of the war, the Franco dictatorship, and the country's transition to democracy.

A searing tale of love and hatred, art and ambition, and freedom and oppression, The Age of Disenchantments is a chronicle of a family who modeled their lives (and deaths) on the works of art that most inspired and obsessed them and who, in turn, profoundly affected the culture and society around them.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] sweeping, ambitious debut...prodigiously researched and beautifully written." - Publishers Weekly

"Spain's roiling history, beginning in the 1930s, forms the backdrop to the family's turmoil. A richly detailed history." - Kirkus

"Part history, part melodrama, and sure to entertain public library patrons attracted to family biographies or Spain." - Library Journal

"Betrayal and sacrifice, passion and poetry, the fate of a country if not a continent, epic destruction - all is in play in this sweeping yet intimate account. Yet what makes this book so truly rich and resonant is Shulman's ability to expose the core humanity that underlies the entire saga." - Mark Eisner, author of Neruda: The Biography of a Poet

"A fascinating account...In Shulman's hands, the story of the gifted, doomed Paneros becomes an absorbing rumination on loyalty and betrayal, history and myth, literature and pretense, on the nature of family, and of memory itself. A remarkable book, and a compulsive read." - Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Fall of Baghdad and Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

This information about The Age of Disenchantments shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Aaron Shulman

Aaron Shulman is a journalist whose work has appeared in publications including The Believer, The American Scholar, The New Republic, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. A collaborative writer and editorial coach, he works with visionary scientists and thinkers to bring their research to a wide readership. Shulman first lived in Spain while studying abroad and moved back in 2010 after falling in love with a Spanish woman. There, he published pieces about Spanish culture, social movements, and the economic crisis. In 2012, he watched "El Desencanto," the 1976 documentary about the Panero family, and from that night onward became hopelessly obsessed. He now lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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