Susanne Jaspers & Georges Hausemer
The World’s Happiest City
Translated into English by Peter H. Marsden
Donostia/San Sebastián – the pearl of the Spanish Atlantic coast, a city poised between tradition and modernity, where a romantic Belle-Époque atmosphere rubs shoulders with a dynamic spirit of optimism, the whole informed by unshakeable local pride and cosmopolitan open-mindedness.
Susanne Jaspers and Georges Hausemer’s description of the Basque metropolis, its citizens and their savoir-vivre, is based on years of personal experience. They know what subtle nuances distinguish Donosti, as the locals affectionately call their home town, from its eternal rival Bilbao. And they know what makes the Basque Country so special, and so different from the rest of Spain. They are familiar with the intensely emotional relationship of the Donostiarras to their history, their language, their culinary and other traditions and that very special kind of rain to which they have even dedicated a very distinctive perfume of their own making.
In some 30 reports, portraits and interviews the authors take their readers with them to pintxo bars and txokos, typical men’s cooking clubs which normally keep their doors firmly closed to outsiders. They initiate their readers into the mysteries of the tiny island of Santa Clara, of the International Film Festival, of the 24-hour drum parade and of a curious pleasure-ground which seems to have survived in a time-warp of its own. They accompany their readers to the legendary city beaches as well as to an all-weather bikini designer. Besides all that, they visit budding starred chefs at their avant-garde training centre and succumb to the rough-diamond charm of voluble publicans. They tell tales of rocky artistic friendships and report on a plucky companion of Basque mariners who sailed the seven seas with them: the water dog.
Publication date: 23.02.2016
188 pages, 20 x 12 cm
Numerous photos and illustrations.
Softcover with flaps
Susanne Jaspers was born in Aachen, Germany in 1970. Her publications include literary texts in magazines and anthologies, travel reports as well as several books, including the novels »Trio mit Ziege« (2009), »Der Duschenkrieg. Eine transsibirische Reise« (2010), and a volume of short stories entitled »Dann drehe ich mich um und gehe. Restaurantgeschichten« (2013).
Georges Hausemer, born in 1957, was an author, translator and travel writer. Among his publications are the novel »Der Suppenfisch« (2014) and a volume entitled »Zum Tschatscha in den zweiten Himmel. Lesereise Georgien« (2015).2017 he was awarded the Prix Batty Weber, Luxembourg’s most important literary prize. He died in 2018.