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The New Spaniards by John Hooper, and Homage to Barcelona, by Colm Tóibín, are both readable and fascinating accounts of Spanish society and culture.For a readable and thorough - but not over-long - account of Spanish history, The Story of Spain by Mark Williams is hard to beat.The 17th-century novel Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes is immensely popular, as are Federico García Lorca's plays Blood Wedding and Yerma.There's plenty of foreign literature set in Spain - the classic works include Laurie Lee's As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, Gerald Brenan's South from Granada, George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and Ernest Hemingway's romantic civil war novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, his classic Americans-in-Europe novel The Sun Also Rises and his paean to bullfighting Death in the Afternoon.

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