A ghost of the Cuban revolution haunts the pages of this vivid and emotional literary fantasy from Older (Shadowhouse Fall). Marisol Aragones died after Castro gained power and the Cuban revolution turned sour, but she can’t remember how or why. Now a disembodied spirit in early-2000s New Jersey, with only a tenuous foothold in the land of the living, her one hope for piecing together her past is through her nephew, Ramon. Marisol spends her days observing—and criticizing—Ramon’s work as a hospital security guard and DJ and his hopeless feelings for his no-strings-attached fling, Aliceana Mendoza. At night, she infiltrates his dreams to give him visions of what little she remembers of her life during the revolution. These dreams send Ramon on a quest to uncover long-buried family secrets, dragging a difficult truth from his mother and traveling with Aliceana to Cuba, where the resistance works against the government in secret. Older’s descriptions of Cuba, both past and present, are thoroughly transportive. This moving story of family and freedom is sure to captivate readers. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Older’s writing is at once clear-eyed, lovely, and fascinating. This book marches right into the revolution in a way that is eerily timeless and timely. Wow!”Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling, award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming and 2020 MacArthur Fellow
"Older's spellbinding novel is a fever dream full of magic and loss, wickedness and grace, faith and love, spirit and power."
Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf
"A lyrical, beautiful, devastating, literally haunting journey of assimilation, resistance, and family. Older just gets better and better."
N.K. Jemisin, award-winning author of the Broken Earth trilogy
"Older's masterwork... should launch him into the company of American literary greats... Epic and intimate, conjuring laughter on one page, tears on the next."
Tananarive Due, American Book Award-winning author of The Living Blood and Ghost Summer
"A moving, startling, boldly drawn family saga that is equal parts mystery and ghost story, with details sharp enough to cut and characters who surprise at every turn."
Leigh Bardugo, worldwide bestselling author of Ninth House and the Grishaverse novels
"Thoroughly transportive... This moving story of family and freedom is sure to captivate readers." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"With lyricism and atmosphere, Older skillfully emphasizes tone... Haunting, melancholy, and undeniably inspiring." Booklist
"A gritty, compelling look at love and war and the ways past actions reverberate down through the generations." Shelf Awareness
"A thoughtful, intense and resonant family saga... unforgettable and well worth your time."
Alex Segura, acclaimed author of Blackout and Dangerous End
Praise for Daniel José Older
"In Older's stories, the dead are as much a part of the living... Older's love for storytelling comes through on every page."
Roxane Gay, New York Times-bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger
"This is the beauty and magic of Older's writinghe leaves us openmouthed and speechless, asking 'What just happened to me?!'"
Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times-bestselling author of Another Brooklyn
"The world Older builds is familiar and alien, and it's so vividly imagined and rendered that the reader believes the contradictions, embraces them."
Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award-winning author of Sing, Unburied, Sing
"Daniel José Older is here to save your soul... A fabulous talent, one who mixes the spectral and the intellectual with skill."
Victor LaValle, award-winning author of The Changeling
"Simply put, Daniel José Older has one of the most refreshing voices in genre fiction today."
Saladin Ahmed, Hugo Award-nominated author of Throne of the Crescent Moon