Surrounded by forest and reached only by a treacherous road, the sleepy South American town of Valle de la Virgen is almost unknown to the outside world. But after a silent stranger rolls in on the back of a pick-up truck, nothing is the same again.
Life for the town's inhabitants has not turned out as they once dreamed. Dona Nicanora never did escape the swamp town and travel the world, Don Bosco did not marry the woman he loved, and the mayor is yet to achieve the power and influence he craves. But it is not until the arrival of the mysterious foreigner, known only as Gringito, that their dreams start to be reawakened. Yet every dream must come at a price and the inhabitants of this sleepy little town are about to get more than they bargained for.
Intriguing and intoxicating, with a host of unforgettable characters in a magical setting, Dona Nicanora's Hat Shop is a remarkable novel that dares us to follow our dreams.
Kirstan Hawkins studied anthropology at Edinburgh University and has travelled extensively in her work in Africa, Latin America and Asia. She carried out fieldwork for her degree among the Ashaninka Indians of the Peruvian Amazon, and for her Ph.D. she spent time in the altiplano of Bolivia.