Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

James Gallant's prize-winning "La Leona and Other Guitar Stories"


Some years back--I forget how many!--I had a discussion here with some Early Guitar and Vihuela posters about a project I was just beginning: a series of short stories involving early guitarists and guitar-makers. Most of the stories were completed about ten years ago, and have seen literary magazine publication. Some of the characters were actual persons, some inventions of mine. In either case, the characters, and the situations that engage them in the stories are mainly  inventions of mine, and this is not the kind of “historical fiction” scrupulously faithful to known fact. The stories, which deal with enthusiasts for the guitar and vihuela from the fourteenth century to Segovia, are arranged roughly in chronological order.

Two stories published by Fortnightly Review (UK) are available online and free:  "New Light on the Ball in Brussels," and "From the Diaries of Francesco Roberto":




 I had difficulty interesting major commercial publishers with the project, but this past year my book, La Leona, and Other Guitar Stories, won the annual music-in-literature contest sponsored by Schaffner Press. The book will be published in paperback this coming July.

--Jim Gallant


From Schaffner Press:

James Gallant of Atlanta, author of the story collection La Leona and Other Guitar Stories, has won the sixth annual Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature. As a result, the book will be published by Schaffner Press in 2020. The award is presented annually to a work of fiction, nonfiction or poetry that deals in some way with the subject of music and its influence, and it celebrates the life of publisher Tim Schaffner's brother Nicholas, who was a poet, musician, biographer and music critic.

Schaffner commented: "James Gallant's highly imaginative story collection provides a kaleidoscopic journey through the evolution of the classical guitar and guitar music as backdrop to the hurly-burly of western cultural history that includes whimsical cameos of such historical characters as Shakespeare, Walt Whitman and Jean-Paul Marat. Along the way, readers discover the origins of the troubadours, the guitar's evolution, and the secrets of the luthier's craft. In a style that is reminiscent of Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino and Peter Cameron, these fictions make twists and turns as surprising and delightful as the music Mr. Gallant celebrates."

Gallant plays classical guitar and is the author of Verisimilitudes: essays and approximations, The Big Bust at Tyrone's Rooming House: A Novel of Atlanta, and Whatever Happened to Ohio?

Publication scheduled for July 2020.

Pre-publication orders at Barnes and Noble:












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Comment by Jim Gallant on July 18, 2020 at 18:23

 A review of Gallant's La Leona and Other Guitar Stories:


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