Book Presentation: Los Mares de la Canela

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In response to the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, Instituto Cervantes de Manila has been organizing online seminars on various topics linked to the cultural relations between Spain and the Philippines. Among these, there is a series of talks dedicated to contemporary Spanish authors who have written novels featuring the Philippines, such as Marta Galatas’ Dejé mi corazón en Manila andSusana Cayuelas’ Cartas desde Manila, which are set in the Philippines, as well as Ramón Vilaro’s Mabuhay, a book of travels (although he could have also presented another historical novel on the Philippines: Tabaco). Galatas and Cayuelas grew up listening to stories about the lives of their ancestors in the Philippines, and out of these stories have produced historical novels, which have been warmly welcomed by Spanish readers. The Philippines elicits a very special fascination to them, different from the one produced by other far distant cultures, being both exotic and at the same time familiar. 

This series of literary talks is resumed by the book presentation of Pilar Méndez’ Los mares de la canela, this Saturday, May 29 at 6PM. The novel is set between the Spanish region of Galicia, the island of Kulangsu in China, and Vigan. The previous extensive research made by the author is evident in this novel. In the course of the book, historical figures in the Philippines appear, such as Leona Florentino, whose character presents a clear parallel with the young Elba, a fictional character. The novel transmits values, such as the importance of education in childhood as a driving force for independence and control over one’s life.

This is the first novel published by Pilar Méndez Jiménez, a career diplomat who is currently the Spanish Ambassador in Vietnam. In this book presentation, she will be interviewed by the Director of Instituto Cervantes de Manila, Javier Galván. To attend, just click on the following link, which will be available 15 minutes before the event: https://zoom.us/j/96691945094.

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