When I got married in the 1990s, it was common in my country for newlyweds to spend their honeymoons in the Caribbean where they’d have to wear all-inclusive resort bracelets and be served endless ice creams with lit sparklers at the pool bar. But I suggested something else to my wife, Susana: that we go to Ireland. And she was delighted. It was a country we had both wanted to visit, even if my own interest had begun with my enchantment with the music of Clannad and The Chieftains that I was listening to at that time.
We traveled the country by car staying in wonderful Bed and Breakfast houses where no door was ever locked. It was a magical experience and I have always felt at home in Ireland. So much so that years later we would return there with our children. Ireland will always have a special place in my heart and it fills me with joy that another book of mine is now available here.
The Prince of the Skies is a story that has its own music as well. It is a story that starts in the 1920s in Paris and will take us to the Sahara desert, Senegal, Palmira, Buenos Aires, Patagonia, New York and Corsica. It is also a story about the origins of air mail, when planes were made of little more than paper but were still responsible for carrying carried d all the messages of happiness, disappointment or hope of their time. At the controls of one of these ‘paper’ planes we will find Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the larger than life author of The Little Prince and other wonderful enchanting books. This is the story of his life, lived with his head in the clouds, of his stubborn search for love which always slips through his fingers and his great friendship with two other pilots.
It is a book that I have poured my heart into, mixing fact and years of reading with that all-seeing eye of the imagination and, above all, my admiration for the author of one of my favourite books.
When Antoine was once asked how it was possible that he was both an aviator and a writer, he answered naturally: “What is the difference?”
Antonio Iturbe lives in Spain, where he is both a novelist and a journalist. In researching his previous novel, the international bestseller, The Librarian of Auschwitz, he interviewed Dita Kraus, the real-life librarian of Auschwitz.