Cuba and the Night
In present-day Havana, Richard, a cynical American news photographer at an emotional dead end, finds romance, trouble, and redemption in the person of Lourdes, a vivacious, passionate Cuban dreaming of a better future
Blackwell North Amer
The setting is Cuba now, a place of yearnings, a strange place. Its economy wrecked, its revolution gone sour, its isolation almost complete, it lives largely on hopes and dreams - of sex, of money, of escape to America, Europe, anywhere. In this atmosphere of intense eroticism and frustration a love story develops, one as odd, abandoned, and ambiguous as Cuba itself.
Richard is an American news photographer at an emotional dead end, who has made it through life largely on bravado and a policy of noncommitment. In Havana on assignment, he meets, and at first scarcely notices, a vivacious young cubana named Lourdes, who may - or may not - be in search of a foreigner who can help her get out. Gradually, amid a confusion of motives, the two are drawn together in a passionate affair whose poignant outcome surprises both of them - and us.
This is Pico Iyer's first novel. Viewed purely as a rich, pungent, and unusually intimate description of the daily life and death of Havana, with its frequent electrical blackouts and ubiquitous secret police, it could only be the work of the author of Video Night in Kathmandu and Falling Off the Map. But it is far more. Pico Iyer here also shows himself capable of telling a wonderful story - romantic yet witty, deeply affecting yet delicately ironic, and completely convincing. Cuba and the Night is a delight.
In present-day Havana, Richard, a cynical American news photographer at an emotional dead end, finds romance, trouble, and redemption in the person of Lourdes, a vivacious, passionate Cubana dreaming of a better future. A first novel. 17,500 first printing.
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