Farewell to the Sea: 2a Novel of Cuba

Reinaldo Arenas, Author, Andrew Hurley, Translator Viking Books $18.95 (413p) ISBN 978-0-670-52960-5
Twice confiscated by Cuban authorities and rewritten from memory, this extraordinary litany of despairthe story of life in Cuba under Castrois told through the voice of a wife (who remains nameless), then through that of her husband, Hector, a disenchanted revolutionary and poet. Hector, his wife and baby vacation for six days at a small seaside cabin. There, in feverish lyrical outbursts (at times, actual poems) they each lament the loss of the freedom they had barely begun to know in early Castro years, and with its passing the loss of everything elseenthusiasm, rebelliousness and hope. Nothing except terror remains, and as it grows, Hector and his wife's relationship becomes intolerable. Under the domestic idle chatter lie their complete solitudes, a vestige of wilted love, her disgust at the messier aspects of child care, his silent fury and homosexual desire. Not even the sensuality of Hector's brief passionate encounter with the boy in the cabin next door escapes suspicion and terror. ""What have they forbidden today?''; ``How are we to behave today?''; ``What new vital instinct did they condemn today?'' are the questions that shriek in Hector's mind as the couple returns to hellish Havana. Nightmarish, at times an impenetrable tangle of myth and dreams, this is a horrifying description of life in Cuba todayand one of the best descriptions to date of life in a Communist country. It is the middle novel in a pentalogue; Viking will eventually publish all five volumes here. Foreign rights: Thomas Colchie Assoc. November
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-14-006636-4
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