BUENOS AIRES – Sixty-one years after the death of the legendary Argentine First Lady Eva Perón, she "speaks" again in Marco Aguinis’ new novel La Furia de Evita (Evita’s Fury).
Aguinis, a former Argentine Minister of Culture, who has written more than 40 books, has devoted his 11th novel to the life and death of his nation's famed populist heroine -- choosing to write the work of fiction in the imagined voice of the iconic second wife of Argentina's long-serving President Juan Perón known as Evita.
Relying on a plausible feminine voice, the story follows Perón's travels through Europe, which helped cement her as a figure of global prestige.
“Evita is used in a a way to call attention and displace Perón," Aguinis says. "It is more important today to be an Evitist than a Peronist, even when the very Evita dedicated her life to exalting Perón."
Maria Eva Duarte de Perón served as First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She used her position, and notable oratory skills, to fight for women’s suffrage and improve the lives of the poor in Argentina. She is the basis of the worldwide famous musical Evita (1979).
Aguinis explains that myths normally paint people in black or white, missing the nuances and natural ups and downs of a person's life. The novel (which is now out only in Spanish) offers an almost carnal dimension, describing her contradictions, her pain, rage, hatreds. The author notes the importance of fluctuating between the extreme misery of her time and her singular power. While the important events in Eva’s life are well documented, this book is an attempt to see things from her point of view, and describe them in her words.
When asked what Evita would think about the current woman of singular power in Argentina, President Cristina Kirchner, Aguinis does not pull any punches: “She would mock Cristina. With an acute look she would say: "Be original, don’t grab onto my skirt so much. Do things on your own, I was original. You are an imitator.”