Spared Angola: Memories from a Cuban-American Childhood

Spared Angola: Memories from a Cuban-American Childhood

by Virgil Suarez
     
 
Spared Angola: Memories from a Cuban-American Childhood is a powerful and original first collection of autobiographical stores, essays and poems. Hoping to spare their only child the fate of thousands of young Cubans conscripted to fight in the revolution in Angola, Suarez's parents left Cuba, unaware of the sentence destiny would impose instead. Suarez's compelling

Overview

Spared Angola: Memories from a Cuban-American Childhood is a powerful and original first collection of autobiographical stores, essays and poems. Hoping to spare their only child the fate of thousands of young Cubans conscripted to fight in the revolution in Angola, Suarez's parents left Cuba, unaware of the sentence destiny would impose instead. Suarez's compelling pieces evoke the agony and frustration borne of growing up in terminal exile and cultural limbo. But, from anguish and turmoil, the artist has wrought inspiration and crafted one of the most eloquent and commanding voices of contemporary American literature.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a tough little nugget of a book that sometimes sparkles. In an impressionistic autobiography, Suarez (Going Under) recounts memories of his youth, and particularly of his father. A policeman under the Batista dictatorship, Suarez's father was unhappy with his position in Castro's new society: he became angry both at being branded an anti-revolutionary and at the demeaning jobs open to him. Determined that his son will not be conscripted to serve in Angola ("Cuba's Vietnam"), he chose exile. As in many Cuban extended families, there was a rift, as some chose to stay and support the revolution, while others left. Ironically, in their attempt to save him from war, his parents had to subject him to a lifetime of violence on the mean streets of L.A. It would seem, in fact, that his young life was informed by violence and separation. This slim volume is studded with poetry that adds depth to the characters and the action but also stands alone. One of the most effective poems is "After the Accident," which describes his rocky relationship with his father during the older Suarez's odyssey from Cuban cop to American factory worker to the shattered man who had been defeated not by governments but by a 576-pound pallet that broke his body. With short chapters that flow fluidly between the first and the third person, Suarez reflects on 36 years as an outsider and on the memories and the record of them that kept him sane. (June)
Library Journal
Surez (creative writing, Florida State Univ.) was born in Cuba in 1962; he left with his parents in 1970 for Spain and then California. One of a growing number of important creative young Latino writers probing their Cuban and American experiences in novel and short story, he has written four novels, among which is the well-known Latin Jazz (LJ 3/1/89). This present volume is a collection of stories, essays, and poems about his childhood in Cuba, Spain, and the United States. The book is delightful reading, particularly the essays about Cuba, and should be part of any Latino literary collection.Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558851979
Publisher:
Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
5.49(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.50(d)

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