The Cutter

Virgil Suarez, Author Ballantine Books $7.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-345-36859-1
Julian Campos, having served Castro's Cuba as a soldier and sugarcane cutter, is presently a university student awaiting permission to emigrate. Five years earlier his parents were stopped at the airport and told that they could not take their son with them to America. They proceeded to get on the plane, leaving Julian in the care of his grandmother. Now the young man has finally been notified that he, too, may leave, but only if he first agrees to an additional six months of ``voluntary'' work for the state's Ten-Million-Ton Sugarcane Program. Julian does his time--hard labor in the fields while living in barracks behind barbed wire fences. The news of his grandmother's death is withheld from him for weeks, and he is locked up when he protests. Finally, he is informed that he is being sent back to the army. Fed up, Julian joins a clandestine group planning to take a boat to Florida under cover of night. In direct and uncluttered prose, Suarez's ( Latin Jazz ) powerful novel about one individual's response to the abuses and arbitrariness of totalitarianism shows us how ordinary people can be driven to take extraordinary risks. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 152 pages - 978-1-55885-249-5
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