If you feel like you are unsure of what is real and what is unreal then you are not alone. Our materialistic mode of life is accelerating and expanding so rapidly that it is saturating our modern cultures to the point of abstraction. Life in materially-privileged societies is increasingly shifting into a world of image and show. Many people today are living within their bubbles that are customized by all the digital conveniences tailored to individual needs. By being surrounded by conveniences that satisfy all our needs we are deliberately excluding so much else, including all of life’s serendipities.
Reality – whatever that is or was – has retreated behind a spectacle of make-believe that is playing at being the new, shimmering façade for the 21st century. One result of this is that things which once stood in opposition to one another are losing their meaning and becoming indistinguishable. That is, fixed identities that used to make life easy for us – us/them, friend/enemy, good/bad, and the rest – are now more like false realities. Life has shifted, or has been pushed, into a realm of invention that is being exploited ever more overtly by politicians, mainstream media, and their propaganda machinery. Out of this, a different sense of reality has emerged that succeeds in absorbing differences and contradictions and making them seem smooth rather than jagged. And the result is what I refer to as hyperreality.
My new book has just been released in the US, UK and Spain.
The Saffron Collectors will be published in June 2018 by the Beautiful traitor Books imprint. The imaginative book presents a world where transformation is contagious’ and where the young protagonists find themselves in an unusual orphanage called the Azafran Home for Girls under the supervision of the enigmatic La Madre. The major activity at the orphanage is the planting and growing of saffron flowers and the collection of its delicate spice. And the girls need to be made ready for when the time comes for the harvesting of the saffron spice. As the main protagonist, Teresa, develops a stronger bond and relationship with La Madre, she suspects that there is more to the Azafran Home for Girls than just picking flowers.
The Saffron Collectors comes fully color-illustrated with over 40 hand-drawn watercolor paintings from Naomi Hasegawa, a young artist.