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Travel with Don Quixote
I'm off then : my journey along the Camino de Santiago
Hape Kerkeling ; translated from the German by Shelley Frisch.
New York : Free Press, c2009.
Hape Kerkeling, one of Europe's most popular comedic entertainers, is the winner of the Karl Valentin Prize for Humor, the Chatwin Award for Best Travel Book of the Year, and numerous other prizes.nbsp;I'm Off, Then, his first book, has become a bestselling sensation in Germany.nbsp; He lives in Berlin.
     
Kinky gazpacho : life, love & Spain
Lori L. Tharps.
New York : Atria Books, 2008.
"Magazine writer and editor Lori Tharps was born and raised in the comfortable but mostly White suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was often the only person of color in her school and neighborhood. At an early age, Lori decided that her destiny would be discovered in Spain. She didn't know anyone from Spain, had never visited the country, and hardly spoke the language. Still, she never faltered in her plans to escape to the Iberian Peninsula." "Arriving in the country as an optimistic college student, however, Lori soon discovers Spain's particular attitude toward Blackness. She is chased down the street by the local schoolchildren and pointed at incessantly in public, and her innocent dreams of a place where race doesn't matter are shattered. The story would end there, except Lori meets and marries a Spaniard, and that's when her true Spanish adventure really begins." "Against the ancient backdrops of Cadiz and Andalucia, Lori starts the intricate yet amusing journey of rekindling her love affair with Spain and becoming a part of her new Spanish family. From a grandmother who spies on her to a grandfather who warmly welcomes her to town with a slew of racist jokes, the close-knit clan isn't exactly waiting with open arms. Kinky Gazpacho tells the story of the redeeming power of love and finding self in the most unexpected places."--BOOK JACKET.
     
Spain & Portugal
Back Door Productions in association with American Public Television and Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Edmonds, WA : Back Door Productions, [2007]
- 6 half-hour shows with a running time of 3 hours - Featuring Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, Sevilla, Andalusia, Costa del Sol, Portugal, Lisbon, and Algarve
     
Ghosts of Spain : travels through Spain and its silent past
Giles Tremlett.
New York : Walker & Co. : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck, 2007.
  1. Includes index.
  2. Originally published in Great Britain in 2006 by Faber and Faber.
     

A contemporary of William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born near Madrid in 1547.

Quixotic

The name, Quixote, lives on in another form--quixotic. This term is defined as

"extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable."

(Random House Dictionary)

Cervantes was a soldier, tax collector, and government official, but he also wrote his entire life. 

Some of Cervantes' plays and poems met with moderate success, but it wasn't until the publication of Part I of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha in 1605 that Cervantes received any real recognition as an author.  The novel was an immediate success.

Cervante's masterpiece relates the travels of an old gentleman who thinks he is a knight. 

After going insane from reading tales of chivalry, the old gentleman abandons his home to search for adventure.  In Quixote's eyes, his nag Rocinante stands in for a valiant steed, windmills and inns are transformed into giants and castles, his neighbor Sancho Panza serves as a knight's squire, and a peasant woman becomes Dulcinea, his princess. 

Voted best book

In 2002, Don Quixote del la Mancha was voted the best book ever written by a group of 100 writers from 54 countries, among them Salman Rushdie, John Irving, and Norman Mailer.

(Read what these authors said)

Many people today are familiar with the story of Don Quixote through "Man of La Mancha," a musical based on the novel.  "Man of La Mancha" won several Tony awards; its best-known song is "The Impossible Dream."

Visitors to Spain can trace Don Quixote's journey.  The regional government of Castilla-La Mancha has marked hundreds of ancient roads, trails, cattle tracks and old paths that link 144 towns and villages.  The route can be traveled on foot, bicycle or even on horseback.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff