King of Cuba
El Comandante, an aging Castro-like dictator shambles about his mansion in Havana, visits a dying friend, tortures hunger strikers in one of his prisons, and grapples with the stale end of his life that is as devoid of grandeur as his nearly sixty-year-old revolution. Across the waters in Florida, Goyo Herrera, a Miami exile in his eighties, plots revenge against his longtime enemy—the very same El Comandante—whom he blames for stealing his beloved, ruining his homeland, and taking his father’s life. Shifting between the two men with great resonance and humor, and peppered with the rabble of other Cuban voices that create a patchwork of history’s unofficial stories. Cristina García’s novel plumbs the passions and realities of these two Cubas—on the island, and off.
‘Darkly hilarious, Garcia braids parallel stories with consummate ease.’
‘Garcia's writing is laced with candor and wit as she portrays the lives of two men united by the past.’
‘A clever, well-conceived dual portrait that shows what connects and divides Cubans inside and outside of the island.’
‘García's tremendous empathy for her characters is the magnetic force of her fiction, and her lifeblood theme is the scarring legacy of oppression and brutality, particularly the horrors and absurdities of the Castro regime. In her most honed and lashing novel to date, she goes directly to the source . . . An ingeniously plotted, boisterous, and brilliantly castigating tale.’