Chris Stewart (author)
Background and musical career
A classmate of Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel at Charterhouse School in Surrey, Stewart joined them in a school band called the Garden Wall, and they later formed another band with schoolmates Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips, called Anon. This band eventually became Genesis in January 1967. Stewart appears on the band's first two singles, "The Silent Sun"/"That's Me" and "A Winter's Tale"/"One-Eyed Hound." Although several demos from Stewart's time with Genesis appear on the Genesis Archive 1967-75 box set, he is not credited with playing on any of them.
At the recommendation of Jonathan King, Stewart was asked to leave the band in the summer of 1968 due to poor technique and he was replaced by John Silver. After travelling and working throughout Europe, Stewart settled and bought a farm named El Valero in the Alpujarras region of Andalucia, where he lives and works with his wife Ana Exton and daughter Chloë. He came in last place for the position of local councillor in the 27 May 2007 local elections in Órgiva representing the Green Party, where he received 201 votes (roughly 8%).
He is now better known for his autobiographical books, Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia (1999, ISBN 0-9535227-0-9) and the sequels, A Parrot In The Pepper Tree (ISBN 0-9535227-5-X) and The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society (2006, ISBN 0-9548995-0-4), about his work farming in Spain. All three are also available as audiobooks (Lemons ISBN 0-14-180143-3, Parrot ISBN 0-14-180402-5, and Almond ISBN 0-7528-8597-9), narrated by Stewart.
Stewart's publisher, Sort of Books, announced plans to release yet another Stewart memoir in 2009, this one focused on sailing, entitled Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat. This was fulfilled as ISBN 978-0956003812.
In 2014 Sort Of Books published a further book of stories, Last Days of the Bus Club (4 June 2014, ISBN 978-1-908745-43-9), which focuses on his daughter's going to university, and his and Ana's subsequent life alone on the farm.
Stewart has also contributed to two books in the Rough Guides series: the Rough Guide to Andalucia and the Rough Guide to China.
- Chris Stewart's official website
- Biography and news
- Chris Stewart discography at Discogs
- Sort of Books, a small British publisher initially founded to help Stewart publish his debut book (see About us)
- Information on the Alpujarras Contemporary English writer in the Alpujarras valley, in Spain
- Chris Stewart's blog about thrifty-living in Spain