- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Ruins is the story of a society in decay, and of an individual whose moral grounding is threatened as a result. Set in 1990s Cuba shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, this low-key but masterful novel carries an important message.
Thousands of Cubans are leaving the country, but Usnavy, a 54-year-old father who works in a bodega, has no desire to join them. A model citizen, he continues to support the government, even though his wife has lost her job, their residence is crumbling, and his family has barely enough to eat. All around him, people are building rafts to seek a better life in Miami or are exploiting the black market. Still, Usnavy resists. But as his family's situation grows bleaker and hopelessness begins to take hold, Usnavy finds himself entertaining the dark world he had hoped to ignore.
Obejas depicts a Cuba that is falling to pieces, a land lost in time but filled with a passionate, warm people made desperate and crafty. Ruins is a pitch-perfect title, describing what happens not only to material things but to the heart of a people when there is little left to sustain them. (Spring 2009 Selection)