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Dancing to Almendra

by Mayra Montero

I really loved this fast-paced story about a young investigative journalist in 1950s' Cuba. All human life is there; dancers, magicians, circus, Mafiosi and real families, all tangled together in a tale of violence, crime and lost innocence.

Extract

When I began to put away the camera, a new Kodak Retina, a birthday present from my brother, I noticed one of the men in the group walking toward me. He had coppery skin, with nervous, almost feminine eyes, and he was wearing a convict's cap that had nothing to do with his uniform. I thought he wanted to ask me something about the camera, and I hurried to put it back in the case; I wasn't interested in having a conversation with anyone, least of all a monkey keeper or whatever he was. I looked up briefly and saw that the man was smiling; he had dark lips and yellow teeth. With his head he gestured towards the hippopotamus's defeated corpse.
'That’s a message for Anastasia.'
Translated by Edith Grossman

Parallels

Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
Havana Black by Leonardo Padura
 

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