The Hour of Waking Together


img_0081Karmele Urresti is in Ondarroa, her hometown, when the civil war starts. Almost everyone in town escapes and goes on exile, but she decides to stay to take care of the wounded and to free his father, who is in jail. It’s only when the war comes to an end that she leaves her hometown and goes to France, where she becomes involved with the Basque Cultural Embassy. It is there she meets her future husband, the musician Txomin Letamendi. Together they travel Europe, but when they know that Paris has fallen to the Germans, they flee to Venezuela.

In Venezuela History gets again in their lives. Txomin decides to join the Basque secret services and so the family goes back to Europe, just in the middle of World War II. He spies the Nazis until he gets arrested in Barcelona, under a dictatorship he won’t survive. Karmele will have to risk everything and part, again and alone, with the blind hope of someone who leaves behind what one loves most.

2016 Spanish Critic’s Award (Narrative in Basque).
2016 Basque Readers Academy Award (Best Book of 2016).

«His bright prose, even luxurious, is now mature and gets closer to JM Coetzee, WG Sebald, authors Kirmen Uribe admires greatly, those who intertwine reality and fiction to get into the soul of countries or people.» Juan Cruz, El País
« Through the events of this couple and their families, we get to know the Basque nationalism in democracy. There are defeats, losses, exiles, hopelessness and loyalty. The novel is emotional dynamite and will surely have international echoes.» La Vanguardia, Jordi Amat
«Kirmen Uribe has written a novel full of truth. The characters are real people. The town where all begins and nothing ends is his hometown, Ondarroa. This is as much of a novel as a history book. (…) Love, fight, pain.» Ignasi Aragay, Diari ARA
«In the novel there is politics and history, but the novel also goes beyond all this. It is a story of enormous humanity, with flesh and bone characters, dreamers and losers, who despite living in grim times never give in to hopelessness.» César Coca, El Correo
«The direct and precise prose of Kirmen Uribe doesn’t have to fool us: it’s fruit of accuracy, not simplicity. His background is that of a cosmopolitan and sophisticated writer. (…) A writer of great and real talent.» La Vanguardia, JA Masoliver Ródenas
«The main chararacter, Karmele, fights against history because she wants to be the one deciding on her own life. (…) A story of women; a matriarchal novel; a novel on women.» Javier Ancín
«A necessary book.» Àngels Barceló, LA SER