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“The Seamstress” comes to London

María Dueñas will be at the Cervantes Institute on the 17th December to talk about her novel, a story of love and espionage, set in exotic colonial Africa.


In 2009, the novel burst onto the literary scene to become a best-seller. More than a million copies have been sold in Spain (in over 30 editions), proving its success.

What’s more, it showcases María Dueñas’ distinct writing style, as an academic in English Philology and professor at the University of Murcia.

The book tells the story of the young seamstress Sira Quiroga who, months before the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, leaves Madrid to set herself up in Tangiers, all in the name of love.

After being abandoned by her lover and living by herself in Algiers, Sira invents a new identity and becomes the most popular designer of couture for the wives of Nazi officials.

From her position, she receives information that, when passed to the British Secret Service, will involve her in a dangerous political conspiracy.

“The Seamstress” has been translated into 25 languages and published on several continents, including the English-speaking ones, the United States, Australia and the UK.

María Dueñas has recently published a second book, “Misión olvido” (Mission Oblivion, not yet translated into English).

This time, the story is about Spanish citizens in the United States during the 1950s, as told by the character, Banca.

So, it is definitely not the further adventures of the seamstress Sira Quiroga.

Maria Dueñas  will appear on the 17th December in London to publicise her first book to readers in the UK. The event starts at 6.30pm at the Cervantes Institute in London, 102 Eaton Square, Belgravia. For more information, visit the website.

(Translated by Daniela Fetta)

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