Weaving cultural history and novelistic biography, THE AGE OF DISENCHANTMENTS: The Epic Story of Spain’s Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2019) by Aaron Shulman is the chronicle of a singular family who modeled their lives (and even deaths) on the works of art that most inspired and obsessed them and who, in turn, profoundly affected the culture and society around them.
Leopoldo Panero, the father: Communist poet before the Spanish Civil War and friend of Lorca and Neruda turned celebrated fascist poet during the Franco dictatorship.
Felicidad Blanc, the mother: A woman from a wealthy family known in Madrid for her beauty who was determined to live life as if it were a novel, no matter the cost.
Juan Luis, the first son: Loner and poet who was obsessed with his poetic heritage, as well as imitating his literary heroes, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Lawrence Durrell.
Leopoldo María, the second son: A doomed genius and visionary poet who spent most of his life in mental institutions when he wasn’t leaving chaos in his wake.
Michi, the third son: Legendary playboy, frustrated writer, and scenester par excellence in the countercultural explosion in Madrid in the 1970s and ’80s.
Going beyond the family circle, THE AGE OF DISENCHANTMENTS sheds new light on the romance and intellectual ferment of the pre-war era while revealing the enduring devastation of the war and the Franco dictatorship, followed by the country’s vibrant transition to democracy.
A searing tale of love and hatred, art and ambition, myth and history, and freedom and oppression, the Panero family’s collective story has never before been told in English or Spanish.