Author(s): Dave Boling


In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the centre of Basque culture and tradition. In the midst of this isolated bastion of democratic values, Miguel finds more than a new life - he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is the charismatic and graceful dancer he meets there, and the two discover a love that war and tragedy cannot destroy.History and fiction merge seamlessly in this beautiful novel about the resilience of family, love, and tradition in the face of hardship. The bombing of Guernica was a devastating experiment in total warfare by the German Luftwaffe in the run-up to the Second World War. For the Basques, it was an attack on the soul of their ancient nation; for the world, it was an unprecedented crime against humanity. Dave Boling reintroduces the event and paints his own picture of a people so strong, vibrant, and proud that they are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their values, their country, and their loved ones.


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Boling threads his way through the stories of his many characters with humor, compassion and rich details of Basque tradition... Moving." - "Washington Post Book World"

"Boling breathes life into a flash point in history and creates an endearing and tragic drama that feels relevant today. "Guernica" is an ambitious debut by a writer whose daring imagination and seamless prose transports us to an extraordinary time and place." -Jim Lynch, author of "The Highest Tide"

"Ambitious...A moving tale of courage and resilience that celebrates the history of an embattled culture while depicting in persuasive detail the communal and representative experiences of a single extended Basque family...The Ansoteguis' indomitable will to live is memorably symbolized by the beloved Tree of Guernica--a commanding image shown in Pablo Picasso's eponymous mural, whose conception and creation are also part of this absorbing story...[T]his is a very good novel indeed--and a crucial reminder that genocidal folly is never as far away from us as we might wish."--"Kirkus Reviews"

"Boling's portrait of the Guernica tragedy is vivid, as is his illustration of the Basque people's oppression....[S]killful with characters and dialogue, possessing a great sense of timing and humor."--"Publishers Weekly"

"A family saga set against the destruction of the Basque town of Guernica in 1937... Enhanced by Boling's knowledge of Basque culture, this is a convincing fictionalization of an infamous act of war."--"Booklist

A Chicago native, Dave Boling has been a journalist in the Pacific Northwest since 1980. Prior to that, he worked as a logger, iron-worker, boat-builder, bartender, bouncer, short-order cook, painter and college football coach. He lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

General Fields

  • : 9780330460668
  • : Pan Macmillan
  • : Picador
  • : March 2009
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Dave Boling
  • : Paperback
  • : 9-Sep
  • : 813.6
  • : Modern fiction