On World Book Day, the author of Belleza Roja recommends three books to start up The Readings of Pazo Baion. Each of them paired with one of our albariños
Small things contain genuine pleasures. A good book and a glass of albarino, for example, are a natural match. And they can transform a gray morning into the sunniest of days. That is why today, on World Book Day, we present to you The Readings of Pazo Baion.
A shared journey in which the writers themselves will recommend books to enjoy with a glass of any of our albarinos. And who better to launch this new section of our blog than Arantza Portabales, one of the most fashionable writers of the Spanish literary scene?
The author of Leave your message after the beep and Red Beauty will be back on the scene on May 6. She will do so with The secret life of Ursula Bas, the second installment of this unique pair of policemen that make up Abad and Barroso.
Sharing a few minutes with Arantza is always a gift. One of those little pleasures in life, remember? For her empathy, passion, her ability to describe the times we are living in, for her generosity…
Pazo Baion and Manuel Rivas
His first recommendation for The Readings of Pazo Baion has become, a quarter of a century later, a reference in contemporary Galician literature. It’s What do you want love? by Manuel Rivas, a collection of short stories that received the National Fiction Prize.
«I read it again -explains the Galician writer- last week and it seems a book that is still very current despite being several decades old. It is fascinating, especially the narrative voice, the handling of short time is magnificent».
«It’s a book -she continues- in which Rivas discovers his voice, the one that will be present in all his work. It has very evocative images, very nostalgic, that very lyrical voice that characterizes him».
Portabales describes Rivas’s work as a «sensorial experience». A quality so typical of the wine universe. And he pairs the book with our most identifiable albarino, Pazo Baion, for the symbiosis that arises between two very recognizable creations.
Both are depositaries of a powerful personality.
Of late vocation, Arantza describes her transition to become a writer with a combination of irony and vital philosophy. «I started writing because I went crazy [laughs]. You go through stages until one day you realize that you want something else. And I started writing», she says.
The creator goes even deeper into what this path has meant for her: «Writing has fuc… up my life because it has made me doubt all my absolute truths [more laughter]. It has made me discover a passion. I have denied all my previous passions and I have learned that there is a very big difference between something you like and something you are passionate about», he concludes.
Pazo Baión Gran a Gran and The secret life of Ursula Bas
As the second suggestion of The Readings of Pazo Baion, Portabales chooses his new book: The secret life of Ursula Bas. The protagonist of the novel is a writer who starts writing after 40 (a hagiographic wink?).
And who one fine day appears in a basement from which she will not be able to escape. Abad and Barroso will be called to become her lifeline.
«It’s a novel -she explains- that deals with the insecurities that attack us all at this age. When we are young we think we have answers to all the questions and at this age we realize that this is not so».
«It’s a story of obsession rather than love. A novel that is more psychological than Red Beauty and very fast-paced. Readers will accompany Abad and Barroso in this fast-paced quest», she says.
For this pairing, the author chooses Pazo Baion Gran a Gran. A very special raisined wine, which arises from a powerful creative path led by the winery’s winemaking team. From a search like the one that orbits in The secret life of Ursula Bas. «It seems to me that it fits very well».
Defined by critics as the new lady of the noir novel in Spain, there are in Arantza Portabales‘ work perennial references to the best of the genre in the last quarter century (Mankell, Nesbo…), but also to an icon like Agatha Christie.
«Red Beauty is a clear tribute to her work -she says-. Keeping my voice and adapting the story to the 21st century. It has been compared and for me it is a privilege. Agatha Christie had a pattern to her novel and it worked every time. She achieved a brutal psychological development of her characters».
-And you, Arantza, do you also come up with the best crimes by scrubbing the dishes like Agatha?
-I don’t scrub very much, so I don’t. But it’s true that I can think of them while I’m going about my normal life: picking up my daughters, in painting classes… [laughs].
The Readings of Pazo Baio concludes with Vides de Fontán and Rewind
Finally, the last recommendation for this first installment of The Readings of Pazo Baion, the Basque-Galician author selects another book by a Galician writer. Rewind, the latest work by the equally brilliant Juan Tallon.
«This reading talks about what happens when everything blows up, when a misfortune conditions your life». It’s a book, in the opinion of our guest, that «leaves a lot of legacy, that stays with you for a while».
And that is why she pairs it in a very natural way with a glass of Pazo Baion Vides de Fontan, our albariño with the most personality, result of its three years of aging. A wine with an enormous length, full of nuances, an analogy with Tallon’s book.
As a way of closing The Readings of Pazo Baion, we asked our new friend about the future. And about an eventual connection of her next work with the world of wine. «In The secret life of Ursula Bas we visit a lot Pontevedra and Cambados, so we are already moving», she anticipates.
«The world of wine has a very special mystique. It speaks of our territory and it is something I find fascinating to tell in my stories. That the novels become a window to the world».
-What about a plot set in Pazo Baion?
-I’m limited because the police station is in Santiago, but you never know. Maybe in the future…
Thanks Arantza! It has been a real pleasure.
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