Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Island of Eternal Love

The Island of Eternal Love
Daina Chaviano
Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA)
Jun. 2008. c.336p.
tr. from Spanish by Andrea Labinger.
ISBN 978-1-59448-992-1. $25.95. F

This is the Blurb over at the Penguin Site:

Cecilia is alone in a city that haunts her. Life in Miami evokes memories of Cuba: a scent in the breeze like the sea at the Malecón; the beat of a clave recalls island evenings when couples danced to forgotten rhythms. Far from her family, her history, and her home, Cecilia seeks refuge in a bar in Little Havana, where a mysterious old woman’s fascinating tale keeps her returning night after night.
It is a story of three families from opposite corners of the world—from Africa, Spain, and China—that spans more than a century. Within it, a Chinese widow seeks protection for her daughter in her family’s idols; an African slave brings the rhythms of her birth to an enchanted island; and a curse dances before the female descendants of a charmed Spanish matriarch, forming the mythic origins of one family’s indestructible bond. The connection strengthens with each generation into a legendary, unbreakable love. Under the story’s heady sway, Cecilia begins to discover the source of the elusive shadows that plague her and, along with it, a link to the past she cannot shake.

From Daína Chaviano, a distinctive literary voice available to English-speaking readers for the first time, comes this multifaceted portrait of the Cuba of this century. As haunting as it is tantalizing, The Island of Eternal Love is an ambitious, provocative, and magical novel that uncovers the secrets of a woman, a family, and an island—all in one spellbinding tale.

The novel was awarded the Gold Medal in Best Book in Spanish Language during the Florida Book Awards 2007. The Island of Eternal Love has been translated into 21 languages and is the most translated Cuban novel of all time.
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