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234 × 156 × 26 mm
240 pages
38 illustrations
13 Jul 2020

Deep Song The Life and Work of Federico García Lorca Stephen Roberts

Federico García Lorca is Spain’s most famous poet and dramatist, and an icon of its culture. He is the author of a series of innovative works that changed the face of Spanish poetry and drama.

In this new biography Stephen Roberts seeks out the roots of the man and his work in the places in which Lorca lived and died: the countryside where he spent his childhood; the Granada and Madrid of the 1910s, ’20s and ’30s where he was educated and first achieved success as a writer; and the mountains outside Granada where his body lies in an undiscovered grave. The book provides a full portrait of a complex and brilliant man, as well as giving new insights into the works that made his name.

‘Stephen Roberts' new study of the life and work of the Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca is profoundly faithful in spirit to the poet's plays and poetry and the complex background from which his works emanated . . . The 240-page work is biographical in large part, but Roberts' vision never loses sight of the work, endlessly illuminating Lorca's simple yet oftentimes obscure art. In short, Deep Song is the perfect point of entry for beginning to understand the entire picture.’ — Paddy Kehoe, RTE Culture

Deep Song is rich with Lorca’s words and makes one eager to revisit them . . . Lorca is an intensely mythologised figure, and Roberts is careful not to tell the story of this life in teleological terms, unfolding towards the tragedy of Lorca’s assassination of the hands of nationalist militia. Roberts deals with sexuality, class, religion, and politics, but not in such a way that sees these things as inevitable precursors to Lorca’s later life. Rather, we get a vision of Lorca as joyous, complex and experimental, trying his hand at different forms, obsessions and the possibilities of his art . . . Deep Song [is] richly textured with Lorca’s own words, and makes for a flowing, thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the life as a lived and passionate thing.’ — Irish Times

‘There is a swift, sharp style that gives the concise biography major appeal. It’s a good entry point to Lorca’s work. Roberts also provides a nice mix of analytical theory on Lorca’s poems and plays alongside colourful kiss-and-tell gossip from Lorca’s adventurous, libidinous pursuits.’ — Sunday Independent, Dublin

‘In a relatively short volume, Stephen Roberts is able to provide a concise yet comprehensive account of both Lorca and his work, along with a clear sense of the historical context which shaped them.’ — Dr Federico Bonaddio, Reader in Modern Spanish Studies, King's College London, and editor of 'A Companion to Federico García Lorca'

‘Stephen Roberts skillfully fashions the biography of García Lorca's short life into a seamless continuum, divided into eight brief periods with vivid attention to geographic settings. As distinguished from other biographies, Roberts's take a close-up, intimate view of this poet-playwright, portraying him as a kind of Lorca from within. At this same time, this intimate vision does not eschew the broader social picture with rarely considered economic tensions that help account for Lorca's ignominious liquidation.’ — Nelson Orringer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Connecticut and author of 'Lorca in Tune with Falla' (2014)

‘In this beautifully written, sensitive book, Stephen Roberts moves fluidly and intelligently from biography to oeuvre through a keen sense of the evocations of place. In this way, we are immersed into the worlds occupied by Lorca in such a way as to capture a sensual and intimate understanding of the enduring significance of Lorca’s life and work.’ — Sarah Wright, Professor of Hispanic Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London

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Stephen Roberts is Associate Professor and Reader in Modern Spanish Literature and Intellectual History at the University of Nottingham. He has published widely on the literature, film and thought of Spain.


1 La Vega: His Own Private Arden (1898–1909)
2 Granada: A Paradise Closed to Many (1909–19)
3 Madrid: Cockroaches, cante jondo and Puppets (1919–23)
4 Madrid, Granada and Cadaqués: Seeking Success (1923–7)
5 Granada, Madrid, New York and Cuba: Success, Escape and Return (1928–30)
6 Granada and Madrid: Revolution and Roots (1930–33)
7 Argentina and Madrid: Triumph and Trepidation (1933–6)
8 Granada: Refuge and Death (July–August 1936)

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