Jordi Coca’s “California”

California. Jordi Coca.

Jordi Coca, California, 2016 [published simultaneously in Catalan and Spanish]

The publisher’s summary:

A professor remembers how he came to the United States in early summer of 1992, right after his divorce, with the intention of travelling by car to the University of California at Berkeley where he would teach and write a book on the great American landscape painters of the 19th century. But everything becomes strange with the appearance of the mysterious and erratic poet Tom Dunkel who joins the trip. Unforeseen situations and landscapes, fundamental doubts, fear… In a lifeless village in Nevada the professor gets to know the former Civil Rights activist Gary Atwood, his interesting wife Jill, and Amy, a real-estate agent who doesn’t want to talk about her past. The desert heat, desire and disease incite the professor to rethink his life, his work, his marital failure, the romantic base of the painting about which he wants to write, the supposed value of the beat literature that portrayed the same roads where he has got lost…

The first sentence of this summary might indicate that the book is based on his personal experiences, as he was a visiting professor in Berkeley in 1992 and later published a book on Edward Hopper [obviously not a 19th century landscape painter]… More biographical and bibliographical information on Jordi Coca (Barcelona, 1947) can be found on the author’s personal page (in English) and the Catalan writers’ association’s page (in Catalan).

SOURCE: Tirant (bookseller)

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