“Valdés’s voice embodies a ferocious vitality and sheer existential appetite that can’t be reduced to any ideology. She’s as much a connoisseur of the absurdities of the revolutionary life as she is a critic.” —New York Times Book Review
The numbing rhythm of daily life in poverty-stricken Havana has deadened Danae’s mind and spirit. On the brink of a breakdown, she unceremoniously leaves Havana without explanation to her family. In search of her first true love, Danae retreats into the countryside of her adolescence, where the government of Fidel Castro had sent her and other teenagers in the late 1970’s to work in the fields under a corrupt and sadistic overseer. It was here, surrounded by a natural world infused with spiritual wonders, that Danae met and fell in love with Tierra Fortuna Munda, a campesino girl her own age.
When the adult Danae finds Tierra, their lives are transformed, their love and its mysteries reborn. However, their return to Havana proves to be the ultimate test of love, not only for Danae and Tierra, but also for Danae’s desperate family.
Novelist and poet Zoé Valdés was born in Cuba in 1959. Her two earlier novels, Yocandra in the Paradise of Nada and I Gave You All I Had, have also appeared in English translation. Zoé Valdés lives in Paris with her daughter.
“Valdés’s voice embodies a ferocious vitality and sheer existential appetite that can’t be reduced to any ideology. She’s as much a connoisseur of the absurdities of the revolutionary life as she is a critic.” — New York Times Book Review
“Delightful … the street-savvy Valdés paints vivid portraits …. and her imaginative spins take magic realism to an outrageous new level.” — Miami Herald
“An absorbing meditation on love, spirituality, adolescence and existence.” — Bloomsbury Review