Juan Ramón Lucas presents in his homeland “Melina”, a novel inspired by his mother

Juan Ramón Lucas presents in his homeland “Melina”, a novel inspired by his mother
Juan Ramón Lucas presents in his homeland “Melina”, a novel inspired by his mother

The postwar period put especially strong pressure on the female population, For decades she was held to the image she had forged of a “perfect wife and angel of the home” and the need to survive inside and outside the home. The ravages and relentless repression determined the character of women as the protagonist of the last novel from the journalist Juan Ramon Lucas“Melina”. Daughter of the mining and revolutionary Asturias of 1934, she was born when she should not have been and where she was not expected: on the eve of a civil war and in a family tormented by the curse and disaffection of the father.

Melina overcomes all obstacles and embarks on her own journey towards freedom. In search of an independence that geography and time cannot provide, she emigrates to America. There she will witness Stroessner’s military coup in Paraguay, an event that will mark her forever and that will leave her in awe. will lead to his return to a Spain trapped in the clutches of political repression.

Juan Ramón Lucas: “Seeing history from a contemporary perspective is a trait of current ignorance”Gonzalo Perez Mata

Juan Ramón Lucas has based his work on a true story, but it is that of many women, including his mother, who, Silently and constantly, they paved the way to the equality they never came to enjoy.

Journalist He is presenting this novel, his most personal, today at the Semana Negra de Asturias. Through this main character, whom he follows from his birth to his return to his homeland, Juan Ramón Lucas takes a tour through 20th century Spanish history, from the Asturian revolution of 1934 to exile, through the lives of various anonymous women.

The novel begins in Mieres, the town where her mother was born, and reconstructs part of her biography from notes that she herself wrote. Although it takes place over several decades, it is a credible portrait of Asturian society at the time. Demanding and full of character. The author also gives a voice to other women who could have been independent, apart from the protagonist. This is the case of the “guisanderas” or the “tratantas”, who were dedicated to the black market. It is also a story about immigration and the importance of education to promote and drive social change.

The Asturian language features heavily in the novel and, in order to be “respectful” of the language, Lucas has relied on the advice and corrections of poet Miguel Munárriz.

Born in Madrid to Asturian parents, he spent his entire childhood in Asturias and graduated in Journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid. Since 1979 he has worked as an editor, presenter, director, producer and columnist. He is also the author of the books “Let’s Talk About Happiness” and “Life Diary” and the novels “The Curse of the Big House” and “Moon Water.”

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