‘Carmen Mola’ Is Three Men

Jorge Díaz, Antonio Mercero and Agustín Martínez receiving the Planeta prize for their novel “La Bestia,” written under the pseudonym Carmen Mola. Credit…Josep Lago/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.

¡Me cachis en diez! Nadie está en su sitio. “Hell and damn! No one is in his place”; that was my father-in-law’s take on the hanky panky of a popular soap opera in late-Franco Spain.

In post-Franco Spain what’s to deplore and what’s to celebrate about Carmen Mola? An editor at the publishing house played fast and loose with a “biography” of a madrileña, professor and mother of three, who penned bestsellers. That’s grubby but banal in a world fudged beyond reason by social media.

The award was given for the still unpublished “The Beast,” a historical thriller set during an epidemic of cholera in 1834.

In the movie, Tootsie justifies going drag saying, “It was for the work.” Give Carmen Mola a break; she’s eating for three. Fernán Caballero had only one mouth to feed! Must all ID be stitched up in tidy chromosomal cloth? Must a creator be a binary unit and not a trinity or quaternary? Let the product decide: “La Gaviota” versus “La Bestia,” and may the better creature prevail.

(Nicholas Casey, “Behind a Top Female Name in Spanish Crime Fiction: Three Men,” NYTimes, 10-29-21)

(c) 2021 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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