20 Apr, 2023 @ 12:45
1 min read

In ’93 Mallorca could have been a German, now a new novel explores this and other island stories

Land 17 Y Otras Rondallas Mallorquinas

MALLORCAN architect and writer, Jose Luis Pujol Reines is launching his collection of short stories Land 17 and other Mallorcan rondallas (stories)

In a dark comedic escapade Pujol Reines plays with the half-joking proposition of Mallorca becoming Germany’s 17th Bundesland, the possible ensuing chaos and other stories of life on the island. 

Figura 3 Reivindicacion De Mallorca Como Land 17 De Alemania En La Portada De Bild
Bild’s headline that started the joke of Land 17. credit Bild ’93

The series of ‘bitter tales’, some of which verge on the dystopian, examine the hangover of the pandemic, culture shock, the ever-increasing house prices on the Balearic Island, the drunken antics of stopover tourists, and collective memory. 

Land 17 Y Otras Rondallas Mallorquinascubiertav12.pdf 1400 1
Land 17 and other Mallorcan short stories

For the author, one of the themes delves into how Mallorcans are effectively being expelled from their homeland due to its unaffordability. 

From his work as an architect he has seen first hand the obstacles that prevent Mallorcans from maintaining traditional rustic homes and the difficulty in inheriting property when faced with taxation laws that ultimately force descendants to sell up, ‘it’s gentrification at an island level’. 

Pujol Reines tells the Olive Press it is not about ‘pointing the blame at anyone, it’s more observational and doesn’t intend to stir up provocation’. 

“Although it might”, jokes Pujol Reines. 

Jose Luis Pujol Reines
Jose Luis Pujol Reines

With regards to ‘the swathes of tourists’ that land on Mallorca’s shores, the author reimagines the mental toll on locals through ‘strange, unknown illnesses’.

He describes his style as ironic, acidic, but respectful. “Let’s say I’ve got a bit of that English humour”, he added. 

Despite dealing with heavy topics, Pujol Reines assures: “It will put a smile on readers’ faces even if it does leave a slightly bitter aftertaste”. 

HM Palma Blanc Hotel hosted the launch for the book, which balances on the tightrope of fiction vs reality, on Wednesday April 19.


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