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Author Bruce Berger Wins 2014 Silver Award for Most Outstanding Nonfiction Book of the Year

Industry: Book Promotion

The End of the Sherry just won the 2014 Silver Medal for the most outstanding nonfiction book of the year, awarded by the Independent Publishers Association

United States (PRUnderground) February 17th, 2015

THE END OF THE SHERRY, By, Bruce Berger, Author of The Telling Distance and There Was A River

“Here is a wide-eyed writer with curiosity, patience and observational skills to follow leads, pursue histories, apply the artistry that takes the reader down the same paths he visits.” – Los Angeles Times

Berger takes his place with Annie Dillard and Barry Lopez.” – San Diego Tribune

The End of the Sherry has just won the 2014 Silver Medal for the most outstanding nonfiction book of the year awarded by the Independent Publishers Association. Craig Manning of Independent Publishers Magazine writes,

Raucous adventure transpires… Berger writes richly and animatedly about the people he met, the places he explored, the spiritual subjects he parsed, and the unforgettable experiences he lives to the fullest during his time in Spain… Berger’s dynamic and lively prose proves thoroughly infectious…

jpeg of Sherry Cover.jpgIn 1965, Bruce Berger, a quixotic twenty-something American, finds himself abandoned in southern Spain with a car known as the Iron Lung and a dog named Og. By accident he finds work as a nightclub pianist and begins an alternate life that spans three years of the infamous Franco regime, and that inspires his account, The End of the Sherry (Aequitas, 2014; $USD Hardcover, $29.95; $USD 19.95 Paperback; Kindle USD$9.95)

Piano gigs led him from small towns on the Bay of Cádiz to the Mediterranean to a house of ill repute to a maximum-security prison to an American naval base to the fair in Jerez, whose very name, corrupted, gives us “sherry”. Non-musical gigs include working for a carnival act and selling fish.

But gigs are only a vantage point for Berger’s insatiable curiosity as he explores language, religion, drinking habits, movie culture, treatment of animals and above all the notorious police, the Guardia Civil. The account thus opens into a portrait of provincial Spain during the final decade of the Franco dictatorship.

Nor does Berger slight the personal, for he embarks on a romance with the band’s drummer and moves in with him, only to find that the ensuing restrictions on his writing lead to an understanding that the writer stands in a double relation to life, living it to the full while simultaneously regarding it as a predator needing sustenance for his art.

Frustrations with writing and the relationship lead him to leave Spain, and it is nearly twenty years before he returns to renew friendships and experience the a transformed Spain after the death of Franco. Now a democracy, fully integrated with the rest of Europe, it has gained freedom – but paradoxically lost the traditional culture that drew citizens together, for it has also gained chain stores, franchises, a coastline of high-rises, drug addiction, crime, and a population out of touch with each other, marooned before their TVs.

“I learned Spanish by immersion, mainly in sherry,” begins the book. Throughout the account sherry leads a double life, as drink and metaphor, and its disappearance brings The End of the Sherry to its title.

About the Author

Bruce Berger, was born in Evanston, Illinois, attended Yale University and the University of California—Berkeley. He is best known for a series of nonfictions books exploring the intersections of nature and culture, primarily in a desert setting. In addition to his books, his work has appeared in The New York Times, Orion, Outside, Barron’s, Sierra and many other publications. He was formerly a contributing editor at American Way, the magazine of American Airlines. In October 2008, he was sent by the State Department to represent the United States at the Mussoorie International Writer’s Festival in northern India, followed by a week of readings in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Contact Info
Media professionals wishing to review THE END OF THE SHERRY or interview its author, Bruce Berger, should contact GK Zachary 845-493-0468 or email him

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