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Rostra’s Choice: Patria

Title: Patria (Homeland)

Writer: Fernando Aramburu

Year of publication: 2016


On a rainy night, a family man is murdered. Shot in the back as he headed home, the water spreading his blood down the streets of his town. His last words to his wife just that morning: “It won’t happen to me; this land is my home.” Fernando Aramburu’s “Patria” tells the story of a Basque family in a small town in northern Spain, where tragedy strikes at the hands of the left-wing separatist group ETA, which murdered hundreds of people and exiled thousands from their home. They will have to live with the pain and social-isolation that accompanies the actions of a terror group that oppressed Basque society with an iron grip. Refusing to over-sentimentalize events, Aramburu delivers complex and compelling characters in a sobering tale that perfectly illustrate the haunting reality many faced for six decades in northern Spain. The tale manages to give a human face to victims, perpetrators and inciters alike, while simultaneously exploring the damage these times left on a society that stood idly by. With more than two million copies sold, the novel has become an intellectual symbol of resistance against the terror of totalitarian ideologies. Essential for anyone seeking to understand one of the darkest chapters in Europe’s modern history, the novel can be found in more than twenty languages. Profound and heartbreaking, Rostra’s choice.

It is to be underlined that Rostra was not incentivised to promote this book in any way, and this suggestion is not necessarily representative of the opinions of the Rostra team, but only of the editor of this article.


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