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Alison Chandler

"You write of women's lives and bodies and sex and illness and desire and love and imagination and darkness like nothing else i have ever read. And so much more. You've made me brave." - Anonymous

I spent 2016 writing this memoir framed in the 6 days of my 2015 walk on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I finished it just weeks before
emergency surgery. I have been updating it over the winter of 2018/19. There are things to say that I can’t leave to the paint brush which got me through cancer.

I hope that lovers of Spain, of women’s lives, of pilgrimage and of art will be interested in reading this journey tale. Thousands of people have engaged with my paintings and Way Through Project since 2016 but not even the closest to me know all the story. I hope they will want to.

The few people who have read this book pre-publication describe it as a
colourful mix of profundity and humour, a love letter to Spain, to youth and to freedom in all its forms. It looks back to a teenager's journey to womanhood intertwined with Spain's transition from fascism, further back still through mythology and history and forward through life-threatening illness. It is redemptive and full of new beginnings. A walk backwards into the past, I have been told that it is told with great originality, is entertaining, educational and thought provoking. It weaves together rich seams of hard reality with profound lyricism, the political with the personal, suffering and fear with love and joy. It touches Europe's defining moments and moves from the silver of Scotland's coasts to the golds of Hispania, the sterile white of hospital wards and the bountiful blues of the deep Atlantic. It is a story of banker knights, caterpillars, handsome lovers, aching pilgrims and policemen's bottoms and it is all true.


Cancer taught me many things. One is not to waste time. That is why I have decided to self-publish rather than to spend days pestering publishers when I could be painting. I never expected to sell a painting and was proved wrong. Let’s see what else I have to learn.


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