HAIZEAN: BOOK LAUNCH
Launch of a new novel from John Sawkins and Jim McGinley, telling the story of Asier, a Basque doctor who is forced to flee his hometown of Guernica after the 1937 bombing and ends up working in the newly established NHS in Clydebank. The evening will also feature a slideshow of images of Guernica past and present.
The novel is about family, friendships, war, peace, history, hope, endurance and ultimately reconciliation. It is about stopping for a moment and seeing the world from another person’s point of view in different times, cultures, and environments.
The first part of the book centres around two small, yet significant villages, Scotstoun, Glasgow and Guernica in the Basque region, northern Spain. Set before, during and after WW2, it should be noted that two of the main characters include a doctor and nurse at a time when there was no NHS. The second part of the book focuses on a Peace Centre set up in a flat in Scotstoun called Haizean (Basque for in the wind), where students come from all over the world to share ideas. The bombing of Guernica, 80 years ago, inspired one of Picasso's best-known works. Now, visitors to this iconic part of Spain's Basque Country will discover a town devoted to peace and reconciliation.
Imagine living in enforced exile for nearly forty years of your life. Add to that the lack of any of your fellow-countrymen within a thousand miles. Asier was a doctor living in Guernica back in 1937 alongside his wife and two children when the German bombers arrived. He has to assume that his family have all perished. Arriving in Glasgow, thanks to the efforts of John Oswald, a Scottish journalist who had at the time been fighting with the International Brigades against the dictator, Franco, Asier carries on his work as a doctor.
Asier’s diaries afford some insight into his coming to terms with separation from his homeland, namely the Basque region in the North of Spain. But more than this, they chronicle key events leading up to, during and after World War II.
There will be refreshments, followed by a slide show of images showing how Guernica has gone from being a small town devastated by bombs in 1937 to a major ambassador for peace and reconciliation in 2017.
If you would like our book, (priced at £10.00) both authors will be there to sign copies.
VenueAugustine United Church
41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL
Info: 07786 486 880