Wednesday, March 3, 2021



A wayward descendant of Mexico’s national hero, a femme fatale who recites poems in cantinas, a Tunisian prostitute in Barcelona, a Spanish psychiatrist who fights brave bulls, the wise owner of the world’s oldest restaurant. They are just a handful of the characters portrayed in VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain, the first memoir to capture Mexico and Spain from the perspective of an American and the knowledge of an insider. VIDAS explores subjects as diverse as the art of blasphemy, the cult of the Virgin Mary, superstition and witchcraft, the bordellos of Mexico, Spain’s paradise of drink and food, the bullfight and the running of bulls in Pamplona, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Every chapter of this vibrant travel memoir depicts a different person or place, which combined create a cross-section of the most populous Spanish-speaking countries in the New and Old World. VIDAS is a passage from childhood to adolescence and maturity, a tribute to nature and the open road, an exaltation of love, food and wine, a journey from the tender, mortal flesh to the luminous world of the spirit.

Filled with photographs, this engaging and unique memoir provides a sensory travel experience many of us are craving today. VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain offers the opportunity to learn about faraway lands and striking events while never leaving home. This timely "armchair travel" memoir is for anyone searching for an escape during our troubled time.

Book Details:
Title: VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain
Author: Edward Stanton
Genre: nonfiction, travel, memoir, culture
Publisher: Waterside Publications (March 1st, 2021)
Print length: 178 pages


A few of your favorite things: books and bonsai trees. These may seem like very different things, but of course paper is made from wood. Not the wood from my bonsais, however.
Things you need to throw out: books I’ll never read again.

Things you need in order to write:
I’m a graphomaniac, so I need things to stop me from writing.
Things that hamper your writing: watering, fertilizing, pinching, pruning, and repotting bonsai trees.

Things you love about writing: the solitude.
Things you hate about writing: the loneliness.
Easiest thing about being a writer: is there anything easy?
Hardest thing about being a writer: knowing when to stop.

Things you love about where you live: clean air and old trees.
Things that make you want to move: Republicans.

Things you never want to run out of: books, wine, and trees.
Things you wish you’d never bought: anything that runs on gasoline.
Favorite foods: Chiles en nogada and the dozens of moles from Puebla, Mexico.
Things that make you want to throw up: all fast food.
Favorite music: Corridos and rancheras from Mexico, cante jondo from Spain.
Music that makes your ears bleed: Garth Brooks spoiling an otherwise musically perfect Inauguration.
Favorite beverage: the wines of La Rioja and Ribera del Duero, Spain.
Something that gives you a pickle face: all fast food.
Favorite smell: Hawthorn blossoms in May, with memories of Marcel Proust.
Something that makes you hold your nose: Trumpty-Dumpty and the suckers who actually believe him.
Something you’re really good at: editing someone else’s work.
Something you’re really bad at: editing my own work.

Something you wish you could do: surf the giant waves at Nazaré, Portugal.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: nothing.
Something you like to do: spend time with Melissa Ann.
Something you wish you’d never done: trying and failing to install apps on my computer.

Last best thing you ate: a perfect dal with a garlic nan.
Last thing you regret eating: fast food (about 30 years ago).

Things you’d walk a mile for: to see an ancient tree.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: people who actually believe Trumpty-Dumpty.
Things you always put in your books: tricksters.
Things you never put in your books: Republicans.

Things to say to an author: I read your last book twice.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: Cherchez la femme.

Favorite places you’ve been: Nayarit, Mexico; Moutrás, Galicia, Spain.
Places you never want to go to again: I’d go anywhere again in the right company.

Favorite things to do: write, care for bonsai, spend time with Melissa Ann.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: creating a new password.

Things that make you happy: ancient trees, good wine & company.
Things that drive you crazy: I’ve already mentioned those.

Proudest moment: my parents seeing me receive an award at their alma mater.
Most embarrassing moment: after a certain age nothing should embarrass you.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: I’ve never told a lie.
A lie you wish you’d told: “I’m a conscientious objector” before being sworn into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

Best thing you’ve ever done: marry Melissa Ann.
Biggest mistake: an earlier marriage.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: surf waves that were too big.
Something you chickened out from doing: surfed even bigger waves.


Wide as the Wind

Culture and Customs of Spain (Cultures and Customs of the World) 

Hemingway and Spain: A Pursuit 

The Tragic Myth: Lorca and Cante Jondo (Studies in Romance Languages)


Born in Colorado and raised in California, Edward Stanton has lived in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Spain. He’s the author of twelve books, some of them translated and published in Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese. Road of Stars to Santiago, the story of his 500-mile walk on the ancient pilgrimage route to Compostela, was called one of the best books on the subject by the New York Times; Stanton’s environmental novel Wide as the Wind, the first to treat the tragic history of Easter Island, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Young Adult Fiction and three other international prizes. While teaching at colleges and universities in the Americas and Europe, he’s also published short stories, poems, translations and essays. The Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Spanish Ministry of Culture have supported his work with grants and fellowships. Recently his students and colleagues published This Spanish Thing: Essays in Honor of Edward F. Stanton.

Connect with Edward:
Website Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  

Buy the book: