Craig Stokes is a language professor, long-distance runner, and fiction writer. He holds a Ph.D. in Spanish linguistics and has taught college Spanish and Portuguese for over 30 years.
Born and raised sixty miles northwest of Pittsburgh, he left rural Ohio to study in Madrid. There was no turning back.
He credits the Catalan author Juan Marsé as his most important literary influence. Reading Marsé taught him that no matter how much the reader yearns for a happy ending, they are often disappointed.
The confinement during the coronavirus pandemic allowed him to finish and publish his first novel, Star of Madrid. It is the first of three books in The Portuguese Grandfather Series. The second installment, Star of La Mancha, has recently been released.
A reoccurring theme in his writing is the duality of being raised in Appalachia and spending considerable time in the Iberian Peninsula.
Star of Madrid
General Fiction, Family Saga
As a nurse, Estrella’s compassion for others has always taken precedence over her own well-being. During her failed, abusive marriage, she secretly adopts her sister’s daughter and raises her as her own. Thirty years later, the revelation of the DNA secret has upended the family. Estrella invites her daughter’s biological father, Guille, to meet the family in a scheme to correct the errors of the past. Estrella and Guille develop a relationship just before the coronavirus confines them to their Madrid apartment. Once the pandemic ends, Estrella finds that Guille is not the man she thought he was. The idyllic family she has carefully constructed is in peril.