The Greatest Performance

Elias Miguel Munoz, Author Arte Publico Press $12.95 (151p) ISBN 978-1-55885-038-5
As Munoz's ( Crazy Love ) third novel begins, Lyndon Johnson is president of the United States, Elvis is alive and Che is still in Cuba. Rosa pk and her best friend Mario are children in Guantanamo experiencing the first stirrings of homoerotic desire. By the end, Rosa and Mario are adults, their world has been transformed and AIDS is a grim fact of life. Alternately narrated by Rosa and Mario, the book follows their coming of age. Rosa is sent into exile by her parentsp. 47 , first to Spain and ultimately to California, where her family is reunited, and, although still marginalized, she is somewhat free to act out her desires. Mario remains in Cuba to suffer the abuse of a system in which homosexuality is a crime, until he ultimately escapes in the Mariel exodus. Munoz has produced a sensitive, lyrical novel about how it feels to be an exile, even in one's own country. The performance of the title refers to the deception in which the protagonists must engage in order to survive. Although apparently written in English, the work maintains the rhythms of the author's native Spanish. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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