In addition to writing about Basque mythology, I’ve also traveled throughout the Basque Country. I lived in the Zuberoa (Soule) province for two years as a boy, spent two summers in Donostia/San Sebastian during college, and visited all seven provincial capitals in adulthood.
My magical realism adventure “Summer, Sun & Fire” is set in the Basque Country and won 2nd Prize at the Basque Literary Writing Contest.
The Basques are an ancient people of mysterious origin living along the western French and Spanish frontier who speak a language unrelated to any other called Euskara. They’ve been herding in the Pyrenees Mountains and fishing in the Bay of Biscay since before recorded history and have survived countless invasions and occupations with their unique language and customs intact.
Here’s my review of Martin Etchart’s moving novel about a Basque-American boy coming to terms with his cultural identity.
Nearly 60,000 Basque Americans live in the United States, primarily in the western states of California, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon, but with large communities in Florida, Texas, and New York, also. Immigration to the US reached its height during the Carlist Wars of the 1830s and 1860s and rose briefly during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s and World War II. The transplants typically refer to themselves as Amerikanuak.
Mark Kurlansky’s book explores Basque influence around the globe, while William Douglass has studied their settlement in the Americas. And check out Buber’s Basque Page for more on all things Basque.