From the Publisher
"Clever, poignant and witty . . . fascinating reading." Peter Corris, author, The Cliff Hardy series
"[This book is] thick with cigar smoke and summer sweat . . . alive with personality." Sydney Morning Herald
"Balancing the rich flavor of Cuba’s sweet cigars against the hushed tones and paranoid whispers of its people." Cuba News
The young boy's coming-of-age brings the forced-immigration story up close.
Born in 1959, journalist Garcia spent his first 12 years in Cuba, plenty of time to pile up grievances against the Communist regime. His parents owned a small haberdashery whose business dried up with the gradual suppression of commerce after the revolution, until it was taken over by the state. When his parents applied to emigrate, his father was sent to a labor camp to cut sugar cane, and the family was meticulously divested of their belongings before being allowed to leave. Garcia's is an emblematic story of the dispossession and exile of Cuba's middle class, leavened with bittersweet reminiscences of his warmly convivial extended family, which comprised both Communist officials and disaffected partisans of the prerevolutionary past. As well, it's a study of the downside of Cuba's revolution�skimpy food rations, endless queues for shoddy goods, beady-eyed busybodies in the neighborhood Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, all justified by strident propaganda in the classroom and media. Garcia's rancorous score-settling with communism can be intrusive; "it's not a very revolutionary thing to do, but... even communists need toilet paper," he gloats about a common unauthorized use for the works of Lenin. But he does offer an intriguing corrective to romanticized accounts of socialist Cuba. (May)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information