22 May, 2022 @ 18:30
1 min read

Something to write home about: Literary traditions of Moraira on Spain’s Costa del Sol

Hemingway Cordon
matha Gellhorn and earnest hemingway Cordon Press

WITH its stunning views of the Costa Blanca to inspire the imagination, it’s not hard to see why Moraira is a great literary town.

North American writer Chester Bomar Himes died in Moraira of Parkinson’s disease in 1984 and was buried in nearby Benissa cemetery. He was one of the celebrated authors who called Moraira home.

He was attracted to the town after reading adverts in the Sunday Times for land in a development called Pla del Mar.

An African American, Himes did complain of experiencing discrimination on account of his colour in Moraira. But his home eventually came to life, in the name of Villa Griot, where he enjoyed walks down to the beach passing the famous Cap d’Or watchtower.

Memorial Ch
Chester Himes has a strong cult following.
Photo: Wikipedia

Another great mind to have chosen to settle in Moraira was Martha Gellhorn, the American novelist, travel writer and widely considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century, one of the few women writers who covered the Spanish Civil War.

Aside from her own work, Gellhorn is also famous for being the third wife of novelist Ernest Hemingway.

In addition to Moraira, the journalist spent time living in Cuba, Rome and Wales.

Hemingway Cordon
Martha Gellhorn with then husband Ernest Hemingway.
Photo: Cordon Press

Her Moraira property, situated slightly inland at Benissa with five bedrooms and four bathrooms, is up for sale for the price of €650,000. 

More recently Venezuelan writer and journalist Karina Sainz Borgo explained more about the attraction of the town to authors when she visited the town in 2020. She said: “Moraira is the ideal destination for anyone who wants to read, write or simply relax.”

In fact she seems to manage all three at the same time: She wrote 50 pages of her book El Tercer País on Ampolla beach.

“It is a novel that required me to sit down to work without anyone bothering me, without anyone talking to me, with long hours of concentration. As I like the sun, what I did was write on the beach and despite having people around me, there was nothing to bother me. I felt very comfortable,” she told teluadamorairadigital.es.

“I came to Moraira looking for peace to write, looking for blue sea, clear skies, tranquillity and I got it… in fact, I noticed that, on the breakwater, there was a small sculpture of a writer and that confirmed to me that I was in a town for writers.”

That sculpture was a memorial to Himes, who continues to be an inspiration to many.


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