Voices of the Old Sea
By Norman Lewis
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In the late 1940s, Norman Lewis settled in a remote fishing village on what is now the Costa Brava, relishing a society where men regulated their lives by the sardine shoals of spring and autumn and the tuna fishing of summer, and where women kept goats and gardens, arranged marriages and made frugal ends meet. Over the course of three years he watches with sorrow and affection as the villagers struggle to hang on to a way of life unchanged for centuries. How long can their precarious economy, their ancient feuds and traditions - not least the evenings of impromptu blank verse in the bar - hold out against the encroaching tide of package tourism, which sidles insidiously into the village with the arrival of black-marketeer Muga?