More has been written about Lorca (1898-1936) than about any other Spanish writer except Cervantes, but this detailed biography--originally published in Spanish in two volumes and based on hundreds of interviews and on hitherto unavailable manuscripts and letters--is the major work on the great Andalusian poet and playwright. Gibson, literary historian, explores the hidden, tormented side of Lorca's character, but because family and friends were unwilling to discuss or even acknowledge his homosexuality, much remains unrevealed. Too often, Gibson relies on ``must have'' and ``might have.'' He explores Lorca's background, schooling, affairs, loves and friendships (with Bunuel, Dali, Falla and Neruda, among others), his trips to New York, Cuba and Argentina, his involvement with the Popular Front, his fascination with and terror of death and, most important of all, the development of his creative work in poetry, prose, drama, music, folklore and painting. The last chapter is given over to details of Lorca's death by shooting by Nationalist thugs, a subject to which Gibson has devoted a prize-winning book, The Assassination of Federico Garcia Lorca.
Lorca scholar Gibson, author of the authoritative Death of Lorca, revised and translated his two-part work in Spanish to produce this colorful, articulate, and well-documented study of the life of one of 20th-century Spain's most famous men of letters. Adroitly eschewing critical analysis of works (no mean feat in a literary biography), Gibson focuses instead on the poet's temperament, mood swings, and acquaintances; especially commendable is the unabashed candor with which he confronts Lorca's homosexuality, which the author analytically interprets as the underlying, pervasive motive for much of Lorca's behavior and output. An indispensable contribution to Lorca literature and currently the front runner for the definitive Lorca biography.-- Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio
...[S]ees Spanish life from the inside the gives the reader a sense of Spanish life that is utterly real.