By Michael Paterniti
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In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug right into a hillside at the fringe of city, an old door results in a cramped limestone chamber referred to as “the telling room.” Containing not anything yet a wood desk and benches, this is often the place villagers have amassed for hundreds of years to percentage their tales and secrets—usually observed by way of copious quantities of wine.
It was once the following, in the summertime of 2000, that Michael Paterniti discovered himself hearing a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun a strange and compelling story a few piece of cheese. An strange piece of cheese. made up of an outdated kin recipe, Ambrosio’s cheese used to be reputed to be among the best on the earth, and used to be stated to carry mystical features. consuming it, a few claimed, conjured long-lost stories. yet then, Ambrosio acknowledged, issues had long gone horribly flawed. . . .
by the point the 2 males exited the telling room that night, Paterniti used to be hooked. quickly he was once totally embroiled in village existence, moving his younger family members to Guzmán to be able to chase the reality approximately this cheese and discover the fairy tale–like position the place the villagers conversed with cattle, lived through an old Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and meals by way of hand, from the grapes growing to be on a close-by hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta.
What Paterniti finally discovers there within the highlands of Castile is not anything just like the idyllic slow-food delusion he first imagined. as an alternative, he’s sucked into the center of an unfolding secret, a blood feud that comes with accusations of betrayal and robbery, dying threats, and a homicide plot. because the village starts off to spill its long-held secrets and techniques, Paterniti reveals himself implicated within the very tale he's writing.
equivalent components secret and memoir, travelogue and historical past, The Telling Room is an impressive paintings of literary nonfiction through one in every of our such a lot comprehensive storytellers. A relocating exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, whereas additionally retaining a replicate as much as the area, absolutely alive to the facility of reports that outline and maintain us.
Praise for The Telling Room
“Captivating . . . Paterniti’s writing sings, even if he’s speaking approximately how meals prompts reminiscence, or the fun of observing his teenagers grow.”—NPR
“A lovely and impassioned monument to the artwork and secret of storytelling, The Telling Room is wealthy, humorous, humane, devastating, and lovely. It made me are looking to applaud, it made me are looking to cry, it made me are looking to circulation to Spain. Michael Paterniti is a genius.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, writer of Eat, Pray, Love
“Unforgettable . . . a must-read for all who give some thought to Spain as magical, who think of cheese because the final present of affection, who love tales of betrayal, melancholy, revenge and redemption.”—The Wall road Journal
“The Telling Room embodies the spirit of gradual nutrients and life.”—Michael Pollan
“Elegant, unusual, humorous, and insightful, The Telling Room is a fabulous story and a pleased learn, a visit right into a international peopled via probably the most impressive characters—and, certain, cheese—in memory.”—Susan Orlean, writer of The Orchid Thief
From the Hardcover edition.