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Rose Tremain, Javier Cercas

Hay Festival 2003 , 
Rose Tremain introduces her new novel The Colour, a fabulous historical novel set against the background of the gold rush in New Zealand in the mid-nineteenth century. 'The colour' is miners' slang for gold. Cercas is the author of the hugeEuropean success The Soldiers of Salamis. At the heart of this 'true tale' are the last moments of the Spanish Civil War, during which Sanchez Mazas narrowly escapes death twice on the same day: first by firing squad and later when his hiding place is discovered by the unknown soldier, who looks him in the eye, and then, miraculously, turns and walks away. They talk to the critic Amanda Hopkinson.