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 often called “the telling room.” Containing not anything yet a wood desk and benches, this is often the place villagers have accumulated for hundreds of years to percentage their tales and secrets—usually observed by means of copious quantities of wine.
It was once right here, in the summertime of 2000, that Michael Paterniti stumbled on himself hearing a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun a wierd and compelling story a few piece of cheese. An strange piece of cheese. made of an outdated relatives recipe, Ambrosio’s cheese used to be reputed to be the most effective on the earth, and was once stated to carry mystical characteristics. consuming it, a few claimed, conjured long-lost stories. yet then, Ambrosio stated, issues had long past horribly flawed. . . .
by the point the 2 males exited the telling room that night, Paterniti was once hooked. quickly he used to be totally embroiled in village existence, moving his younger kinfolk to Guzmán so as to chase the reality approximately this cheese and discover the fairy tale–like position the place the villagers conversed with livestock, lived via an historic Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and nutrition through hand, from the grapes growing to be on a close-by hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta.
What Paterniti eventually discovers there within the highlands of Castile is not anything just like the idyllic slow-food myth he first imagined. as an alternative, he’s sucked into the guts of an unfolding secret, a blood feud that comes with accusations of betrayal and robbery, loss of life 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 background, The Telling Room is an extraordinary paintings of literary nonfiction through one in every of our such a lot finished 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 preserving a reflect as much as the area, absolutely alive to the facility of news that outline and maintain us.
Praise for The Telling Room
“Captivating . . . Paterniti’s writing sings, no matter if he’s conversing approximately how meals prompts reminiscence, or the thrill of staring at his young ones grow.”—NPR
“A wonderful and impassioned monument to the paintings 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 circulate 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 give some thought to cheese because the final reward of affection, who love tales of betrayal, melancholy, revenge and redemption.”—The Wall highway Journal
“The Telling Room embodies the spirit of sluggish foodstuff and life.”—Michael Pollan
“Elegant, unusual, humorous, and insightful, The Telling Room is a fabulous story and a cheerful learn, a visit right into a international peopled by means of probably the most striking characters—and, sure, cheese—in memory.”—Susan Orlean, writer of The Orchid Thief
From the Hardcover edition.