Encouraged and supported by all those who surrounded her, Isabel García Lorca dedicated a great part of her last years to writing these Recuerdos míos (My Memories) which now see the light after her death, and which have been granted the XV Comillas Prize for autobiography, biography and memoirs. The reader will find that these memories evoke the lost paradise of childhood, the author’s youth in the houses at Granada and Vega, as well as the crumbling of that world, broken into pieces by the murder of her brother Federico and of her brother-in-law Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Isabel García Lorca also reconstructs the anguish of her first exile to Brussels, and the meeting up with her parents in the United States, a place that they will leave two decades later for a Spain where they no longer see themselves recognized.
But, beyond her personal vicissitudes, these memories are above all, an emotive evocation of the places and people that Isabel came to know. Her sensibility and great ability for observation give new life to many of those critical moments and provide us unforgettable pictures of such figures as Manuel de Falla, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Pedro Salinas, Jorge Guillén, Luis Cernuda, María Zambrano, and placed above all of them, the magnetic centre of that world, her brother
Isabel García Lorca was born in Granada in 1909 and died in Madrid on January 9, 2002. She was the youngest sister of Federico, Concha, and Francisco García Lorca. When she was eight years old, her parents put her education in the hands of Gloria Giner, the wife of Fernando de los Ríos. Isabel began her college studies in Granada in 1929 and continued in Madrid from 1932 until 1934. She studied Philosophy and Letters and was the student of Guillén, Salinas, and García Morente. She went into exile during the Spanish Civil War, first to Brussels and later to the Unites States, where she became a professor at the New Jersey College for Women, then at Hunter College in New York, and later, at Sarah Lawrence College. She returned to Spain in 1951 and participated in the creation of the Association of College Women in 1955. After Franco’s death, she regained her position as a literature professor at the Pardo Bazán School in Madrid. Since 1984, she presided over the García Lorca Foundation, which manages the legacy of the poet and artist from Granada, a job to which she dedicated all of her efforts. She died when she had only to put the finishing touches to these memoirs.