"The couple is an institution in crisis because it has not evolved"

He publishes A happy couple after six years of narrative silence. Were you immersed in your writing during all that time?

I was writing my thesis and theater, so I was less focused on the narrative. Although I was already thinking about the novel, I have worked on it more in recent years.

He claims that we know nothing about love but he has dared to write about it. Do you now have a clearer vision on this issue?

After writing the novel I have understood that love is not a thought that can be put into words. I think everything revolves around poetic reason and not around a rational and linear structure. That is why the novel also has a structure that is not linear but fragmented and that gives more importance to spaces. The spaces offer us a very sensory vision and from there we can begin to understand something as important as love.

Precisely the places where the story takes place are one more character in the novel. Could all these chapters exist without you having lived for twelve years in the United States?

No. Besides, the United States is one more character; in fact he is a protagonist. In part this is a woman's relationship with that country and with all that it represents. If I had not known that place in such a direct way, I would not have been able to write the novel.

In addition, it is a very different country from the one you come from, something that is also reflected in the novel, when there are things that the protagonist does not understand about customs and her own love behavior on the other side of the Atlantic.

It is a country that has us totally colonized. When I returned to Spain I was surprised that so many North American celebrations had become so strongly established in such a short time, such as Halloween or Black Friday. There is a relationship of superiority and colonialism that is very important for this story of love and lack of love that the protagonist lives.

Even placing the protagonist within the country, she also experiences that superiority even within her own relationship.

Yes. It is part of that place. This novel seeks to strip reality of what it is not. That is why the dazzling of which I speak is related to that colonialism of the United States and the protagonist, and with her I as the author, we are cleaning. It is a very strong work in the conception of who she is and what interests her or what does not interest her, apart from what they have told her that she has to be interested.

Could the protagonist make that trip in another place that you also know very well, in Spain?

I think that in Spain there could be some places that lend themselves to it, but the places that I chose I think are part of the collective conscience and this novel shows what this conscience offers us. I was playing with the expectations of the readers and I think it would be difficult to transport that to Spain. Everyone knows various things about New York, Los Angeles or Las Vegas. In the case of La Moraleja, in Madrid, I have a clear idea of ​​what it is, but I am not sure that everyone thinks the same. I am very interested in playing with expectations and with people's knowledge. That is why I also placed a more allegorical part of the novel in an inventing place, in Quaquanantuck. It is a town that does not exist, although it is based on towns in the Hamptons. Cartago is a real place, but it is also one of the least known and that is why it also refers to the most literary part of the novel.

Along with those places, the other protagonist of the novel is the couple. An entire institution that you put in crisis and, is it also in real life?

Yes, the couple is an institution that is in crisis, especially because it is an institution that has not evolved as it should have. That does not mean that I do not believe in love, commitment or a series of things that I think can make a successful couple. However, I believe that, especially in the case of women, that this kind of slab has been placed on our shoulders that tells us that the end of our lives is to fall in love. That is the couple that I want to put into crisis and that is why this protagonist's great search for love is that of self-love and only when she is capable of loving herself can she have a full life. For me, the key to the novel is the love that the protagonist finds in herself.

The other common thread of the novel is toxic love. It seems that it is something that is the order of the day and that everyone has in mind but even so it is necessary to continue to alert about it because we do not learn.

There is no change in mentality because more education is needed to destroy a series of myths that continue to haunt us. You only have to look at details of popular culture to understand that, although we are advancing a lot, there is still a significant gap, especially for my generation.

Sometimes drug use also plays a prominent role. Have you wanted to make a simile between toxic love and the toxicity of these narcotic substances?

A little, yes. We live in a world where many speeches can be lies and it is as if we live drugged. So the drugs expose these inconsistencies. I wanted to emphasize this crazy world and drugs were a good ally, as was mental illness. I wanted to talk about how our minds can wander in these speeches that we have to navigate every day.

When writing a novel starring a woman, which deals with these issues and is narrated by a female voice, do you think there will be readers who reject it for 'being girls'?

Yes, that exists. I am very clear that most of my readers are women. I think that the change of chip has to come from ourselves. Part of loving yourself is loving your own fellow man.

In some passages of the novel she takes on a very personal narrator role. Leaving aside whether or not they may be autobiographical facts, did you ever feel shy about doing this writing?

I had a great time writing. I have friends who even called me alerted asking me if what I relate in the novel had happened to me, but no, nothing like that has happened to me. I hope that people have the feeling of really entering the life of the protagonist because I am a very emotional writer and I lived through her adventures and misadventures. In that sense, I think that the feeling of modesty is good because it means that there is a communication between the writer and the reader and that means that it has turned out well.


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