Guilty of Dancing the ChaChaCha

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9781566491877: Guilty of Dancing the ChaChaCha

An enduringly original literary presence, unquestionalby Cuba's most important living writer.—Alistar Reed, The New York Review of Books

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish

From Publishers Weekly:

Infante, the Cuban ‚migr‚ whose literary brilliance has been showcased in such works as Three Trapped Tigers and Infante's Inferno, displays his trademark style and parodic wit in this collection of three short stories. But even diehard fans won't be kicking up their heels. Each story begins with a similar scene: the same man and woman have lunch in a Havana restaurant on a rainy Friday afternoon. Their relationship to one another and to their country are exposed through their thoughts and conversations, with the last story revealing the most about the collection's themes and the pontificating protagonist, who ogles every woman who enters the restaurant after his date leaves. The stories mirror each other by repeating characters, situations and themes, yet also continually broaden their reach. Infidelity and Fidel, disillusionment and faith, remembrance and new beginnings are fundamental themes that mark not only the stories but Cuba itself. Modulated by background music that progresses from Santer¡a ritual chants to Cuban boleros to the jazz-influenced chachach , the stories promise a minihistory of Cuban culture and politics. But the diverting premise is squandered: the male protagonist is a repellent character racist, sexist, homophobic and deeply smug. By the end of the book, his relentless puns become tedious. It's no wonder the woman walks off at the end of each tale. (July)Forecast: Infante received the Cervantes Award (a kind of Spanish Nobel Prize) and has been hailed as Cuba's greatest living writer, so some readers might pick this book up based on his reputation alone. But anyone unfamiliar with his work will pass on what finally amounts to an exercise in self-indulgence. And at only 112 pages, it's no bargain, either.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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