A Dacha in the Gulf
Una dacha en el Golfo
Winner of the first Sergio González Rodríguez Anagrama Chronicle Prize: a vibrant book about an enigmatic country.
Why write a book about Bahrain? Firstly, because the author’s partner was offered a job there, which is the reason why he lived in the country for two years during which he made a point to observe, speak with people, and grow interested in the country’s paradoxes and interiority.And secondly, because these paradoxes turn Bahrain into a very interesting reality within the Arab world.The book covers everything about his daily life: political repression, the experience of sexuality for women and gays, the limited tolerance for alcohol, the isolated life of luxury of European ex-pats and the very different reality lived by Asian workers, the real estate market that grows with artificial islands gained on the ocean, linguistic misunderstandings...
«A Polaroid that shows an exotic and hermetic society, one that demands that you dig past the recent official history to understand its current drift...This chronicle moves from the personal into the socio-political and presents an image that is free from prejudices, but also stark and not at all condescending» (Javier Menéndez Llamazares, El Diario Montañés).
«Far from taking the mournful tone that is so common, this denunciation of a country that is friendly towards its expatriates and merciless towards minorities creeps up naturally—the result of a text that is structured with the wisdom of a good editor and executed by an even better writer» (Jaime G. Mora, ABC).
«Una dacha en el Golfo is an interesting book, and its greatest achievement is the honesty it transmits with regards to the feelings, ideas, and experiences of its author. It tackles problems that are common in countries around the area with intelligence and transparency, centering them solely on Islam's internal debate between the Sunni and the Shia... It's worth diving into the pages of this particular dacha, constructed thanks to its architect's notes. His almost initiatory trip to the waters of the former Persian Empire adds this first contribution to the saga of editor-writers, whose ambivalence makes them true literary characters» (Juan Luis Cebrián, El País, Babelia).
TRANSLATION RIGHTS SALES
- France (Métailié)
EMILIO SÁNCHEZ MEDIAVILLA (Santander, 1979) is a journalist and editor, and the cofounder of the publisher Libros del K.O. He has worked at Agencia EFE, La Opinion de A Coruña, and Conde Nast Traveler. He has occasionally collaborated in publications such as El País,Vanity Fair, or Altaïr. In 2019, he was the winner of the 1st Sergio González Rodríguez Anagrama Chronicle Prize for Una dacha en el Golfo.