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The Road to San Vicente
By Leif Borthen
Edited by Martin Davies

The author and the book

In 1960 the travel writer Leif Borthen returned to Ibiza after an absence of nearly thirty years. As on his first visit, he arrived by boat, caught a ramshackle bus to San Juan and then hiked across the hills to the remote valley of San Vicente, still beyond the reach of the internal combustion engine. Astonished by how little things had changed, he bought some land near an isolated cove and settled down to become the valley's first resident writer.

Borthen's evocation of this hidden Ibiza, moving between 1933 and 1960, is made especially poignant by the fact that he arrived only just in time: in 1964 the long-awaited road was finished and the valley was never again the same. First published in Norwegian in 1967, this memoir portrays in marvellous detail a vanished world and all its rich traditions - house blessings, blood feuds - together with a gallery that includes a roguish art dealer, an eccentric aristocrat and a notorious assassin.

Six other descriptions round out this unusual portrait of a valley: an overlooked letter by Walter Benjamin, an elegiac piece by Norman Lewis, an extract from Enrique Fajarnés's little-known Viaje a Ibiza, Jacques Massacrier's cautionary tale about an overzealous tax collector, Emily Kaufman's article on the area's extraordinary history, and Paul Richardson's firsthand account of restoring an ancient casa payesa . The result is a work in which the 'other' Ibiza is brought dramatically to life.

The Road to San Vicente
El camino a San Vicente
Der Weg nach San Vicente


Publisher: Barbary Press, Ibiza
Distributor: Balàfia Postals
Dimensions: 220 pages, 35 woodcuts, 13.5 x 20 cm
Price: 15 euro plus postage
ISBN: 9788461181193
Date of Publication: Wednesday 5th December 2007
Book Launched: Club Diario de Ibiza, Avenida de la Paz, Ronda E-10. Ibiza Town, Wednesday 5th                                       December 2007
Languages: Three editions: English (The Road to San Vicente)
                                                   Castellano (El Camino a San Vicente)
                                                   Deutsch (Der Weg nach San Vicente)

How to purchase this book

This unusual memoir written by Leif Borthen and edited by Martin Davies, is available for purchase by directly contacting this office either by e-mail, fax, letter and telephone or in person. Payment is accepted by cash, traveller's cheques or by VISA and MasterCard.

The price of this book is 15 euro plus the cost of airmail postage and packaging to Spain 1 euro, UK/Europe 4 euro, the Rest of the World 5 euro and Airmail 10 euro.

Martin Davies



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