Synopses & Reviews
In this slim tale, Laxalt shows the ugly, desperate, and sometimes violent world of the contrabandiers, Basque smugglers in the Pyrenees. Set in the 1960s, the terse story begins with Nikolas, driven by his familyandrsquo;s financial despair, taking on work from Gregorio, the patrandoacute;n of a small team of smugglers. Nikolas must smuggle fifty horses over the mountain ridges between France and Spain. If heandrsquo;s caught, jail and ruin are certain; death is possible. This engrossing novella, told with tight narration and compelling dialogue, shows the grinding poverty and ethnic tensions in Basque lands, fifty years ago.and#160;
Fortieth anniversary edition of the touching story told by Robert Laxalt of his father's return to the Basque Country after living in the U.S. for almost fifty years.
Dominique Laxalt was sixteen when he left the French Pyrenees for America. He became a sheepherder in the Nevada desert and nearby hills of the Sierra. Like all his fellow Basque immigrants, Dominique dreamed of someday returning to the land of his beginnings. Most Basques never made the journey back, but Dominique finally did return for a visit with family and friends. Sweet Promised Land is the story of that trip, told by his son Robert, who accompanied him to the pastoral mountain village in France. Dominique came home victorious, the adventurer who had conquered the unknown and found his fortune in the New World. He walked the paths of his youth and again experienced the traditions of his Basque heritage. He told of his life in America, the hardships and challenges, and began to realize that he had changed since his departure from the village of Tardets. By the end of the visit, he knew with certainty where he belonged. Sweet Promised Land was first published in 1957 by Harper & Row. During the past fifty years, the book has become a classic in Western American literature, still beloved by the Basque-American community and widely used in undergraduate classes. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the book's publication, western literature scholar Ann Ronald has written a new foreword, discussing the book in the context of American and Nevada literature.
About the Author
Robert Laxalt was the author of Sweet Promised Land and numerous other acclaimed novels and nonfiction titles. He founded and was the first director of the University of Nevada Press.and#160;