Carmen Grau was born in Barcelona, Spain and emigrated to Western Australia as an adult in 2001. She holds degrees in English and Liberal Arts from the University of Barcelona and Providence College, R. I., and is currently studying a Master of Creative Writing from Macquarie University, NSW. She writes in English, Spanish and Catalan. In the year 2000 she set out on an unplanned journey around several Southeast Asian countries, and a year later she wrote Amanecer en el Sudeste Asiatico (Sunrise in Southeast Asia), the number one ebook in all travel categories on Amazon Spain in 2012 and 2013. In 2004, she wrote the novel Trabajo temporal. In 2013, she published a second travelogue, Hacia tierra austral, which tells her journey on board some of the most legendary trains in the world, from Barcelona, Spain to Perth, Australia. The novel Nunca dejes de bailar is her most recent work, published in Spanish in 2015 and in English in 2020 as Never Stop Dancing. She’s currently working on a novel set in Busselton in 1897. Carmen is the owner of Dunsborough Books, started in 2008 as a hobby selling good quality second-hand books at the Dunsborough markets and soon to become a bookshop van. Carmen lives in Dunsborough with her partner and three children.
Creative non-fiction and Fiction
Sunrise in Southeast Asia
Departing Barcelona, Spain on January 2, 2000, Carmen Grau spent the first seven months of the new millennium on a challenging personal, spiritual, and intellectual journey of cultural exploration. Using Bangkok as her jumping off place, Carmen visited all the countries of the Indochinese peninsula – Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Burma – and then moved on to Malaysia, as well as Sumatra and Java in Indonesia. She also made brief visits to Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore. While visiting many cities and famous destinations Carmen also made the point of traveling slowly, often trying to leave the beaten path, and have close, personal encounters with the people, languages, and cultures of these lands that remain, as she describes in vivid detail, mysterious, exotic, baffling, and enchanting. Her rich, extensive, and engaging travelogue describes her time in more than sixty different locations, cycling the streets of Vientiane, walking through the quiet Burmese countryside, learning to scuba dive in Malaysia and make traditional wood carvings in Sumatra, and often venturing to unfrequented, out of the way places. Sunrise in Southeast Asia is Carmen's bestselling account of this adventurous journey through Indochina and beyond.
Never Stop Dancing
Barcelona, February 2016. Enya begins to tell the story of her last six years, from the days when her mother died unexpectedly of cancer. Having grown up under her protection, estranged from her father and grandparents, and overwhelmed by the vacuum her mother’s death leaves behind, she decides to start a new life in Boston and chase her dream of becoming a literary editor. During her three years there, she experiences love, friendship, failure and, once again, the bitter taste of loss. Defeated, she returns to her native city, to finally confront and accept her mother’s death. She fulfills her dream of starting her own publishing house and bookshop. Meeting a renowned novelist seems like the perfect push to her career, but there is something mysterious about him that triggers her insecurities and feelings of unworthiness. Córdoba, September 2010. Alberto is an established writer, author of detective novels, and happily married to María. After more than two decades reaping successes, he is bored and decides to tell a different story to everything he has written before. He conceives a novel for María which will, however, rock the stability of his marriage, take possession of his fate, and change the course of his existence. Condemned by his own writing, he briefly succumbs to despair before gathering renewed strength for a second chance to be happy. Narrated from two points of view and two time settings, the lives of Enya and Alberto will finally converge in an unexpected way. Never Stop Dancing is a love story that takes us from Boston and Córdoba to Barcelona, a novel which speaks about relationships, literature, fate, religion, death and hope, and in which fiction and reality coexist on both sides of the same paper.