The Garden of Secrets by Juan Goytisolo
Over three weeks twenty-eight story-tellers - one for each letter in the Arabic alphabet - meet in a Marrakesh garden to tell the story of a poet, Eusebio, arrested in Melilla in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. Eusebio, a friend of Garcia Lorca and his Circle, escapes assassination and his life then escapes the control of a single destiny. Some tales embroider his shadowy life with stories from Djemaa-el-Fna - the pasha's cook, the slave-market, Aysha and the stork... Does Eusebio betray his Fascist friends by confessing in a show-trial that they indulged in orgies with the youngsters from their battallions? Does he transform into Eugenio the world war two black marketeer from Tangiers? Or does he transmute into the world of Alphonse van Worden, doyen of Marrakesh queens with his Rolls, Indian chauffeur and home showings of Mary Pickford movies? In The Garden of Secrets, Juan Goytisolo tells a moving story as he reflects on memory, history and the mythical power of fiction.