The woman is flying in a small airplane and sees in the distance the great cumbrous mass of El Yunque, the flat-topped mesa that announces the historic town of Baracoa. She has likely heard the legend of the Honey River, where it is said that the person who bathes in its waters and gets married in Baracoa must stay there forever. She knows people in Baracoa. She is going to meet Onaldo, her Afro-Cuban lover, and she will become 'Katrina' to continue her private journals. In this series of linked fictions, unified by place and a cast of overlapping characters, Karina travels the length of El Caimán, the alligator which is Cuba. The narratives that make up this book have their origins in Hale's travel journal, but emerge as stories, arriving at that place just beyond creative non-fiction. Vivid and sensitive portraits are balanced with the dark undercurrents of Cuban life. Katrina witnesses how politics have re-shaped the culture and lives of the people she encounters, while she falls deeply in love with the true and hidden life of El Caimán. "This is one of the best collections of stories I have read. As a Cuban myself, reading In the Embrace of the Alligator has been like looking at myself in a mirror. It made me laugh, it also brought tears to my eyes, and sometimes it made me feel angry and ashamed. I am amazed by Amanda Hale's grasp of Cuba's reality, and by her remarkable insight into our culture." — Tomás Aquilino Lopez, writer and art curator. "Written with warmth, compassion and understanding, In the Embrace of the Alligator is one of those rare glimpses into the real Cuba, its people, and its stories."— Eva Stachniak, author of Garden of Venus and Necessary Lies.
|Publisher:||Thistledown Press, Limited|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||711 KB|
About the Author
Amanda Hale, novelist, poet, dramatist and journalist, has been writing for over 30 years. Of her three novels, Sounding the Blood — which she has recently adapted as a screenplay — was a finalist for the BC Relit Awards and was voted one of the Top Ten novels of 2001 by Toronto's Now Magazine; and The Reddening Path - about a Guatemalan adoptee to Canada - has been translated into Spanish. Hale lives on the BC coast and travels frequently. In the Embrace of the Alligator includes an award-winning story published in Prism International. Hale’s extensive time in Cuba over the past seven years has inspired her to write about the most elusive and fascinating culture she has yet encountered. She writes from the inside, about ordinary Cubans, attempting to untangle the knot of contradictions that is Castro’s Cuba.