|See How Much I Love You
WINNER OF THE 2007 ALFAGUARA PRIZE FOR FICTION
'With vivid imagery of desperate village life and keen insight into multicultural influences, Leante’s rich, often poetic novel of romance and international politics evokes a sensuous yet savage period in this region’s tumultuous history.' Booklist, USA
'...set against one of those ongoing arenas of conflict that the media chooses to ignore - the struggle for independence of the Saharawi people of the Western Sahara first from the Spanish and later from Moroccan dominance...a necessary context to a painfully compelling story of love and loss.' Morning Star
See How Much I Love You, an epic love story spanning more than thirty years, was inspired by a humanitarian trip made by Luis Leante to the Western Sahara. After an invasion by Morocco in 1975, the people of the Western Sahara became displaced with no homeland and are refugees still, living in desert conditions more than thirty years later. The charity, Sandblast, exists to highlight their plight.
To hear a track of music by the Saharawi people in the Western Sahara, and see the work of the Sandlast charity, click this link
'An essential novel that must be bought and read' Almudena Grandes, author of The Wind from the East
'Wholly entertaining, a novel that hooks you in from the first line. An original and dramatic love story set in an innovative context: refugee camps in the Sahara and although it is not a political work, Leante’s testimony leaves the reader hurt, indignant and angry; the reader lives the tragedy of a people whom history has marginalized and sacrificed systematically.’ Mario Vargas Llosa
When Montse and Santiago meet as teenagers in 70s Barcelona they have little idea where their summer romance will lead.
After they break up, in spite of Montse's pregnancy, Santiago decides to spend his military service as far away from her as possible: in the Western Sahara, Spain's only African colony. There, he is one of the few Spanish soldiers to befriend the local Sahrawi people, quickly falling in love with their customs and culture. But the year is 1975 and the colony will not last much longer. Following the death of General Franco and the Spanish withdrawal, Santiago becomes caught up in the brutal war between the Sahrawi and invading Moroccan forces. He is entrusted with escorting a Sahrawi friend's family on an epic journey, hundreds of miles across the desert.
Thirty years later, Montse, now a divorced doctor living in Barcelona, sees a photo of Santiago carried by a Sahrawi patient. After discovering that he did not die in 1975 as she had been told and that he, like her, has lost both a child and a partner, she sets out to find him amongst the refugee camps of the Western Sahara, a journey that will prove to be every bit as dangerous as Santiago's so many years before.
Luis Leante teaches classics in a high school in Alicante. He holds a degree in Classical Philology from the University of Murcia. He has written six novels and two novels for children. Mira Si Yo Te Querré (See How Much I Love You) was inspired by a 2005 humanitarian trip to the Western Sahara. In 2007 it won the Alfaguara prize for fiction.
Pub Date: 17th September 2009
COVER DESIGN: Alice Marwick