Going Under

Going Under

by Virgil Suarez

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Surez, the author of three critically acclaimed novels, most notably Latin Jazz, has dedicated his work to the theme of the exiled Cuban-American family in search of the American dream. Unfortunately, this novel captures none of the human drama and Cuban culture so richly presented in his earlier works. Xavier Cuevas, the overworked main character, is a YUCAyoung upwardly mobile Cuban Americanliving in Miami. But the comforts of a luxury car, a cellular phone and a modern home can't compensate for his parent's divorce, his own failing marriage and his declining health. His situation is further complicated by the fact that he can't identify with either American or Cuban culture. He's embarrassed by his family's and friends' heavy accents, yet he condemns the cold, Anglo lifestyle of his wife's family. Cuevas is stuck between cultures, between jobs, between life as it is and life as it ought to be. In Sarez's clumsy symbolism, he's also stuck way too often in traffic jams. Where Surez's previous work displayed a knack for evoking environment, music, food and emotion, Going Under suffers from generic cross-cultural misunderstandings, one-dimensional characters and a sloppy narrative. All of which is too badand leaves readers still waiting for Surez to launch the exploration into the cultural crises of middle-class Latinos of which he is surely capable. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Trapped in endless Miami traffic jams and imprisoned by inexorable workday drudgery, insurance salesman Xavier Cuevas seems like the typical YUCA (Young Urban Cuban American) and a model family man. He undergoes an emotional crisis precipitated by his wife's decision to pursue her abandoned operatic singing career and by the mugging of his secretary, which results in the loss of a hefty payment from a key account. Now feeling detached and dislocated, Xavier is determined to pursue his ethnic identity after a seance and cleansing ritual awaken in him his Cuban heritage. A more successful attempt at dealing with the Cuban American experience than Suarez's earlier Latin Jazz (LJ 3/1/89), this smooth, fluid narrative is full of cinematic details. Recommended.Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dub lin, Ohio

Product Details

Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.72(d)

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