Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia
Chris, eternal optimist and itinerant sheep shearer, moves with his wife Ana to a mountain farm in Las Alpujarras, an oddball region in the south of Spain. Misadventures gleefully unfold as Chris discovers that the owner has no intention of leaving and meets their neighbours, an engaging mix of peasant farmers and shepherds, New Age travellers and ex-pats. Their daughter Chloe is born, linking them irrevocably to their new life. The hero of the piece, however, is the farm itself - a patch of mountain studded with olive, almond and lemon groves, sited on the wrong side of a river, with no access road, water supply or electricity. Could life offer much better than that?
"When an author is as modest and humorous as this, his story cannot be told too often." Elizabeth Buchan, The Times "Exquisite... in Driving Over Lemons the anecdote flourishes once more." Penelope Lively, The Daily Telegraph"
Chris Stewart shot to fame with Driving Over Lemons (9780956003805) - Sort Of Books' launch title in 1999. Funny, insightful and real, the book told the story of how he bought a peasant farm on the wrong side of the river, with its previous owner still resident. It became an international bestseller and with its sequels - A Parrot in the Pepper Tree and The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society - it has sold more than a million copies in the UK alone. Chris prepared for life on his Spanish mountain farm with jobs of doubtful relevance. He was the original drummer in Genesis (he played on the first album), then joined a circus, learnt how to shear sheep, went to China to write the Rough Guide, gained a pilot's license in Los Angeles, and completed a course in French cooking. Three Ways to Capsize a Boat fills in his lost years as a yacht skipper in the Greek islands. Despite the extraordinary success of his books, Chris, his wife Ana, and their daughter Chloe, continue to live on their farm, with their numerous dogs, cats, chickens, sheep and misanthropic parrot.