Four hundred years ago, Miguel de Cervantes wrote The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha — the story of a Spanish gentleman who thought he was a knight. Spurred by the books of chivalry he read, Don Quixote set out with his neighbor, the fat and friendly Sancho Panza, to live a knightly life of high adventure. As Book One ends, Don Quixote’s worried friends return him to La Mancha, ill and tired, in a cage upon an oxcart. In defeat.
Cervantes’ book was wildly successful and he became renowned — so celebrated that another author stole his characters and took it upon himself to publish further stories of Quixote. Cervantes was enraged, and when he wrote his sequel, in which Quixote takes the road again, he made his anger at the interloping author all too clear. It was a neat postmodern touch in a work devised four centuries ago. Like Book One, Book Two broke new ground in spectacular and entertaining fashion.
Books One and Two of Don Quixote — what many call the world’s first proper novel — is a work of genius. Barbara Nichol makes accessible the most important story of all time without losing its comedy, its heartbreak, and its power.
Barbara Nichol is an award-winning author and documentary maker, and a long time contributor to the CBC radio documentary series “Ideas.”Her book Dippers was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, and Biscuits in the Cupboard won the Mr. Christie’s Book Award. She is also well known as the author and director of the Juno award-winning original recording of Beethoven Lives Upstairs, and is the author of the book by the same title. Her film Home for Blind Women won the Genie for Best Short Film, and she was nominated for an Emmy for her work with Sesame Street. She has worked extensively in television and radio. Barbara Nichol has published four books with Tundra, including Safe and Sound, Trunks All Aboard: An Elephant ABC, One Small Garden, and Dippers, and the first volume of her retellings, Tales of Don Quixote. She is also a contributing editor of Walrus Magazine.
Praise for Don Quixote:
“…Side-splittingly funny and heartbreaking at the same time, this gem of a Don Quixote lopes across the page, propelled by Nichol’s wit and empathy.”
— Globe and Mail
“A small jewel of a book....”
— Canadian Family