The anarchist Dani Cajal, perhaps a stand-in for the author, has resumed his research and now focuses his gaze on a pretext for a quite different journey: the search for the lyrics of a vanished Gardel tango, the anthem of the refugees on the beaches of Argeles, which will take him to Vietnam and through many of the wars and conflicts of the twentieth century.
Using witness testimony, memoirs, and documents from military archives, he will reconstruct step by step the odyssey of a generation that suffered the Civil War, the French concentration camps, the Second World War, and, in many cases, the conflicts of the postwar. Cajal will revisit almost forgotten events and settings for some of the bloodiest events of the foregoing century. From the march of the anarchist columns across the border in 1939 to the French defeat in Vietnam in 1954, Dien Bien Phu’s Tango is a choral novel that explores the biographies of anonymous people who didn’t fear defeat.
Joanot Martorell Prize 2019
In this historical novel, David Castillo looks through the eyes of the protagonist and embodies the critical gaze of the generation that came before us. Without a desire for revenge or any pretense to judgment, Dien Bien Phu’s Tango does away at last with heroic interpretations of the great wars of the past century.