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Writers & Poets

However, not all of the literary figures were at first welcomed in the town: the local residents became somewhat alarmed at the arrival of an infamous American named Alvin Karpis, who set up home there during the 1970's. Alvin Francis Karpis was a Depression-Era gangster turned author.

Numerous celebrated literary figures passed through Torremolinos during its glory years and some used it as a base for their short stories, novels and poems. Grahame Green, the English novelist regarded by many as one of the great writers of the twentieth century, arrived in 1953.

Walter Starkie appears to be a man from another age, the age of the wandering scholar, the age when a sound knowledge of languages, music and literature could take you down the roads of a semi-mystical Europe in search of patronage, further knowledge and adventure.

George Borrow is the epitome of the English eccentric traveller, a man who undertook the quixotic task of trying to sell Protestant bibles to a very Catholic Spain amidst the chaos and confusion of the nineteenth century Carlist Wars.

If you walk up the Cuesta de Gomérez to the Alhambra, rather than take one of the shuttle buses, you will more than likely come across a curious statue set back from the road. Where the Calle Real de la Alhambra meets the Cuesta, which then turns to a gravelled path darting up hill.

Washington Irving was the son of a New York merchant, he was trained in law but gave it up for the family business. When it collapsed he turned to writing but also figured proximately in the diplomatic world. In England he was secretary to the American Embassy.

That same sunshine that attracts so many of us to Andalucia also drew Victoria Hislop to Granada in search of a story of love, passion and tragedy as she researched Spain’s Civil War. The Return is an historical novel set between present and past.

Salvador Compán is from Úbeda in Jaen, a city recognised as a World Heritage Site and home to many outstanding monuments. The author now lives in the regional capital of Seville where he works as a secondary school teacher, imparting the wonders of Spanish language and literature to future generations.

María Zambrano was born on the 25th of April, 1904 in Vélez-Málaga (Málaga province), the daughter of Blas José Zambrano, a teacher. She only stayed in Vélez for three years as her family moved to Jaén and subsequently to Segovia, where she attended high school.

Laurie Lee was a poet and novelist, best-known for his autobiographical trilogy Cider with Rosie (1959), As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969), and A Moment of War (1991). The trilogy depicts Lee's boyhood in the country, his journey to London to seek his fortune, and his experiences in the Spanish Civil War.

Juan Valera was born on October 18th, 1824 in Cabra, Córdoba to an aristocratic family. However, his father was persecuted and jailed in the days of Fernando VII due to his liberal ideals. Valera attended university in both Granada and Madrid.

Javier Sierra is an author, writer, researcher, and journalist whose work encompasses a wide range of topics from the historical to the factual to the supernatural. His novel, the Secret Supper, is a world-wide success and has been published in over 40 languages.

Gibson was born in Dublin in 1939 and educated at Newtown school in Waterford and Trinity College, Dublin. He lectured in Spanish at Queen's University, Belfast, and then became Reader in Modern Spanish Literature at London University.

His early childhood was spent in India and South Africa before he continued his formal education in England. Brenan initially attended Radley College and then the Military Academy at Sandhurst. Independently, he studied art, poetry, and philosophy with the help of John Hope-Johnstone.

Federico Garcia Lorca is not only Spain's most universal poet, but he is also a universally recognised symbol of Spain - and especially Andalucia - itself. His poems paint a vivid and intrinsically poetic portrait of this fascinating region, with its stark landscapes of olive groves and fig trees.

Few foreigners ever have been so closely identified with Spain as is Ernest Hemingway. A Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning novelist, essayist, and correspondent, Hemingway was able to capture the many complexities of Spain in a way that enchanted the world.

In 1961 French artist, writer and film-maker Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) stayed in Marbella for four months, just two years before he died. A permanent exhibition in Marbella commemorates the Andalucian sojourn of this highly influential creative powerhouse, inaugurated to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.