Maria Duenas: “The mistake that I write” Syrah “lies in Tangier”


Maria Duenas was slow to understand what the writers she spoke to meant when they told her that their characters were eluding them. He had to sit down and write to experience it. Before that, it seemed to him stupid. A ghost, typical of people who are fond of creating seemingly convincing fictions. Then it came Time between seams, a novel that was supposed to revolve around Juan Luis Beigdeber and his beloved Rosalind Fox, but which ended up being the protagonist of the dressmaker who won the game despite being created as a mere circumstantial witness, a subtle literary device.


Syrah is already one of the main characters in Spanish literature of the current century. If only because of the number of readers who have been waiting for the continuation of his story for more than ten years. Fortunately, a few months ago they were able to read it, and the curious thing is that, just like the first time she ran away from her author to give herself to anyone who would welcome her reading, now it no longer belongs to anyone. Maria Duenas She says she did not feel the need to revive her, but rather returned with fiction to the Moroccan scenery that made up the sentimental landscape of much of her family and many other Spaniards. However, once in Tangier, he immediately realized that he could not betray her either. He had to continue with Syrah what he left twelve years ago.

Syrah (Planet), Duenas’ fifth novel and part two of his debut, hit bookstores a few months ago, but today it’s time to talk about it again. Late last week, the author acted as a press moderator in Tangier at an event hosted by the Instituto Cervantes and designed so that anyone can understand the true engine of this story. Unlike most novels, the landscape is better here to the plot. “Blame me writing Syrah in Tangier“- tried to explain the writer. To understand this, I had to go through it with her.

Those who have already read the book know that this is a description of a journey, the end point of which is the beginning. Syrah crosses the world to return to where she stopped being what she was and began to run away. Thus, although in the second volume he returns to Madrid, settles in Palestine and lives for a time in London, the most important will be his last step. “Tangier is the fourth and last part of the novel, but This was where I wanted to go from the start– said Duenas and this summed up the meaning of his creative vocation.


All his life he had heard of Tetuan, a Spanish protectorate so close to the “metropolis” of Tangier. A large branch of his family settled here. So when he decided to write, the only thing he was sure of was that he had to recreate this script in its most glorious times. Time between seams tells about the time of war, Syrah focuses on what happened next. “If in the 1940s it was a hotbed of spies and international intrigue, in the 1950s it was something different.” There was more money, more writers, more artists, and sophistication Barbara Hutton which eventually attracted a whole entourage of fans. “Although not everything was glamorous. Along with British luxury, there was the city of churros. ” It was also a place of escape for hardworking women who escaped hunger or whatever, unwanted pregnancy, the sadness of an abandoned house to earn a future that many others had just cut short.

All this concerns the novel, but not only. Duenas was also interested in returning to Madrid from the cauldron on fire, when Eva Peron walked there in her fur coat and with her mocking temperament that could play down Franco himself; flying over the birth of the State of Israel, the mismanagement of the British at this crossroads; and also travel to the capital of an old empire to explore its contrasts. Anything to get to the end, its sentimental Morocco, perhaps with the belated conviction that life’s journey is an excuse, like the plot of any novel, and the true meaning lies in where we want to be in moments when we are nowhere.

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