Tomorrow January 6th

Western Christianity celebrates tomorrow January 6th, the Epiphany. The day immediately following the twelve days of Christmas, particularly in the Spanish-speaking parts of the world.

In Spanish-speaking areas, the “Three Wise Men” (Spanish “los Reyes Magos de Oriente”, also “Los Tres Reyes Magos” and “Los Reyes Magos”) receive wish letters from children and magically bring them gifts on the night before Epiphany. In Spain, each one of the Kings is supposed to represent one different continent, Europe (Caspar), Asia (Melchior) and Africa (Balthasar).
According to the tradition, the Kings come from the Orient on their camels to visit the houses of all the children; much like Santa Claus with his reindeer, they visit everyone in one night. In some areas, children prepare a drink for each of the Kings, it is also traditional to prepare food and drink for the camels, because this is the only night of the year when they eat.
In Spain there is a long tradition for having the children receive their Christmas presents by the three “Kings”, (the figure of Santa Claus only appeared in recent years) during the night of January 5th (Biblical Kings Eve).
Almost every Spanish city or town organize cabalgatas in the evening, in which the kings and their servants parade and throw sweets to the children (and parents) in attendance. The cavalcade of the three kings in Alcoy claims to be the oldest in the world, having started in 1886.
I took all above from Wikipedia and I must prepare now to take my grandchildren to the “Cabalgata” in Madrid. I’m sure they won’t sleep tonight.
Happy Epiphany to you all.

>The Spanish Female Detective: A Study of Petra Delicado….

>The Spanish Female Detective: A study of Petra Delicado and the evolution of a professional sleuth is a dissertation by Tracy Rutledge, M.A. that can be found in the following link:

I hope you will find it interesting.

Just notice that I’m repeating myself dangerously, it must be my age.

La mujer detective española: Un estudio de Petra Delicado y la evolución de una detective profesional es una tesis de Tracy Rutledge, MA que se pueden encontrar en el siguiente enlace: (en inglés)

Espero que lo encuentren interesante.

Acabo de darme cuenta de que me repito peligrosamente, debe de ser la edad.

Leonardo Padura Fuentes – Mario Conde

I’m having difficulties finding Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s novels, at least in Madrid bookshops, therefore I’m planning to change the order in which I’m going to read the North America leg of the 2010 Reading Challenge and start first with one of Leonardo Padura’s books featuring detective Mario Conde.

I’m taking for granted that I will upgrade myself to the expert level at a later stage. By the way I took this idea from Dorte’s list, and I thank you Dorte for that since I have not read any of Padura’s novels before. I found interesting to share with you the following information from Wikipedia:

Leonardo Padura Fuentes (born 1955) is a Cuban novelist and journalist. As of 2007, he is one of Cuba’s best known writers internationally. In English and some other languages, he is often referred to by the shorter form of his name, Leonardo Padura. He has written movie scripts, two books of short stories and a series of detective novels translated into 10 languages.

Padura is best known in the English-speaking world for his quartet of detective novels featuring lieutenant Mario Conde, Las cuatro estaciones (The four seasons). These have recently started to be published in English translation. Mario Conde is a cop who would rather be a writer, and admits to feelings of “solidarity with writers, crazy people, and drunkards”. The novels are:

Pasado perfecto (“Havana Blue“, 2007), 1991
Vientos de cuaresma (“Havana Yellow“, 2008)), 1994
Máscaras (“Havana Red“, 2005), 1997
Paisaje de otoño (“Havana Black“, 2006), 1998.

These books are set respectively in winter, spring, summer and autumn (Vientos de cuaresma literally means “Winds of Lent“, and Paisaje de otoño, Autumn landscape). Paisaje de otoño won the 1998 Premio Hammett of the Asociación Internacional de Escritores Policiacos (International Association of Crime Writers); this prize should not be confused with the similarly named Hammett Prize given by the North American branch of the organization, which is restricted to U.S. and Canadian authors.

Padura has published two subsequent books featuring Conde, the novella Adiós Hemingway (Padura’s first book to be translated into English, in 2005), and a recent novel La neblina del ayer (“Havana Fever”, 2009), 2002-2003.

The Havana-Cultura website comments on the similarities and differences between Padura and Hemingway and how they might explain his decision to feature the expatriate American in Adiós Hemingway.

Padura’s latest novel El hombre que amaba a los perros (The Man Who Loved Dogs) deals with the murder of Leon Trotsky and the man who assassinated him, Ramon Mercader. At almost 600 pages in length it is his most accomplished work and the result of more than five years of meticulous historical research. The novel, published in September 2009, attracted a lot of publicity mainly because of its political theme.

More information in
Tusquets Editores (In Spanish)
Mis detectives favoritos (In Spanish)

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