Spanish flying incense

This has no connection whatsoever with my next novel. Just a cool fact. Here is the world’s largest incense holder. It’s in the Cathedral of Santiago and weighs 119 lbs. More precisely, it’s a botafumeiro, to be swung into motion by eight lusty men, making an arc of sparks and incense streaking across the transept. We didn’t see this, since we didn’t go on a holy day, but imagine. Imagine particularly a high mass in 1499 when Catherine of Aragon was innocently attending (innocent also of how England’s King Henry VIII would come to do her wrong) and the butafumeiro cord broke, sending the whole contraption crashing through one of the high windows. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

Anyway, the moral is, be careful of renegade butafumeiros but if you are in Santiago on a holy day, go to the cathedral and watch plumes of incense arc over your head.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Sunday, May 6, 2pm reading from latest work at Hexagon Brewing Company, Knoxville, TN.

Thursday, May 10, 6-8 pm presentation on research on the historical novel, Blount County Library, Maryville, TN.

When We Were Strangers, Italian translation, to be presented in Pescasseroli, Italy, August 2018.

Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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