ULTIMATE LOVE (Círculo de Tiza, 2023)
What could bring such an unlikely pair together? Lord Peregrine Fox, a rather decadent English rural landlord, and Miss Rocío Medina, Andalusian, plebeian, just a middle-class literary translator. Their encounter seemed statistically impossible. And yet it happened. Entirely the fault of the dating sites and their algorithms (are the algorithms blinder than love?).
The two have crossed the spiky border of the sixties. Both are intelligent, educated. They share a disproportionate love for words and a quick sharp sense of humour. A few sentences scribbled with wit and grace are enough to confirm the mutual attraction. Then follows an exercise in literary seduction, an exchange of emails in which both display their brightest feathers. It is a magnificent construction. Building one’s own, building the other, building the mutual desire. In just a fortnight they manage to fall madly in love with each other. Love to the hilt. Without having seen each other, without having spoken on the phone. Quite a feat.
The first “live” date takes place in his rainy kingdoms. What a frightful moment. But the collision of dream with reality does nothing more than consolidate the constructed building. They delight and fascinate each other. Oh, miracle. The second date will be in her sunny paradise, and again passed in sheer rapture. Oh, wonder.
They are in love, utterly in love, as they had never been before. But time is pressing, there is an urgency. What remains of their lives, be it much or be it little, they have to spend it together. Caution, good sense, restrain, pragmatism and many other virtues attributed to the wisdom of old age are thrown away to the four winds. Such a colossal passion requires going to the battle defencelessly. Bare chest, no shield. Let Rome burn to the ground!
A detective novel written as a parody and political satire. A Spanish geologist goes missing in Beijing. His disappearance unleashes a veritable earthquake across the diplomatic community. With no police cooperation agreement in place, the consulate’s hands are tied. Every move must stay off the record and be carefully calculated. A Spanish detective and a scholar studying in China set out to solve the mystery, and avoid a major diplomatic crisis.
Could a Westerner really imagine what it’s like to live in modern day Beijing? The sharp-tongued and sharp-eyed Spanish literary nomad Dolores Payás tells us all about it! Is China a world of martians or is she the martian? Utterly original and voice-driven, ON A CHINESE BICYCLE works as an alive and colourful caleidoscope, with twenty-two texts that string together her experiences, her observations, in a wide variety of literary genre, tone and pace. This is a work full of humanity in all its ways, as well as charming, transformative and successful at deconstructing any preconceptions of China and its people.
Hilarious, playful and entertaining for all types of readers, it reads almost like a beehive full of comic characters, bold ideas, eccentric places, or like a comedy of errors entwined with lyrical reflections. One thing is certain: it is all held together by the obvious affection she has for this complex and ancient land.
“A joyful and dazzling tour de force which takes us back to the best kind of literature, with none of the false journalistic simplicity invading fiction today.”
Mª Angeles Cabré, La Vanguardia
“…a narrative maelstrom that starts on the first page (like someone opening the valves on a pressure mechanism) and continues through to the final coda, where you arrive spellbound and breathless.”
Javier Fernandez de Castro, El Boomerang
“Payás’ exquisite use of language… The erudite, British humour with which the author takes on each situation, and the unabashed sympathy with which she handles her characters.”
Claudio Tornamira (Qué Leer)
“Drink Time!, a hundred pages long with Ms Payás´s evocative photographs…makes a pleasant accompaniment to the evening´s first glass”.
Times Literary Supplement
…a charming memoir…
Peter McKay, Daily Mail
Drink Time! is a touching gem of a book for all Patrick Leigh Fermor fans.
Marjory McGinn, author of Things Can Only Get Feta
[A] soulful book… This is excellent ancillary reading to Artemis Cooper’s recent, defining biography
Brad Hooper, Booklist
For true Paddy fans this book will be a very welcome addition to our bookshelves… If you want to understand more about Paddy the man, not the writer or bon viveur, you will enjoy Drink Time!
Tom Sawford, Patrick Leigh Fermor Blog
Sex plus literature, twice the fun
Sex with an English lover -forget the conventional, predictable latin lover-, triple the fun.
V. I. Bott