As of today I am a grand father!
After ‘Queen of the South’amongst other books translated from Spanish into English and French, since turned into a television series, read easily ten years back, his latest book translated into French but not yet into English ‘Le Tango de la Vieille Garde‘ which can be thought of a little like the song ‘Every time We say goodbye, you know I cry a little‘ is a film waiting to happen.
The story set in three distinct periods, the late twenties, the late thirties and the early sixties follows Max and Inzunza two characters from different worlds, her rich, with no worries for tomorrow and he poor surviving by scams.
In the late twenties they meet on a transatlantic liner from Spain to Argentina, She with her wealthy composer husband working on a Tango (a simple bet with Ravel to better his Bolero) and he as the House dancer, suave and debonair, surviving by ripping off rich women. He takes them through the back streets of Buenos Aires to the birth place of the true Tango and lives a passion with Inzunza before disappearing with her valuable pearl necklace.
We meet them again in the late thirties in Nice between the Spanish civil war and WW2, he by now an accomplished cat burglar and she estranged from her husband, they once again are passionate lovers before events force a second separation.
The third confrontation is in their twilight years where Max who has come through difficult times meets once again Inzunza with her son (A chess champion challenging the Russian world champion) and at the bequest of Inzunza becomes embroiled in a dangerous case of burglary.
Throughout we are aware of their unrequited love, (if only life could let them be together).
As always these stories are intertwined. This is once again a compelling story, worthy of an English translation, I’d pay to watch the film.
Le Tango de la Vieille Garde: First published in Spain in 2012
Translated into French by François Maspero, published by Seuil in 2013