Broken Paradise

Via Ya No Mas!, we have what looks to be another excellent literary work on exile and the diaspora by another Cuban-American writer. The work’s title alone – Broken Paradise – resonates on many levels.

From the author, Cecilia Samartino:

During family parties when I was a kid someone would occasionally turn up the music, and move the furniture aside in order to make more room. Moments later everyone would swarm the dance floor and begin gyrating their hips, and moving their feet to the enticing rhythms of our homeland. We kids didn’t have all the moves down yet, but we tried our best to emulate our elders all the while fascinated by the transformation that had taken place in them, as though all of a sudden they’d been transported to a paradise where there wasn’t a care in the world. On one occasion I remember well, my parents weren’t dancing with the rest. I found them in the kitchen where my mother was weeping while my father tried his best to console her. This is the moment I first confronted the reality that my family had experienced a tragedy of some sort, although it would take years for me to know and understand the details of what had happened to us, and why we were living in the United States and not in our native land.

You can read the rest of her bio here as well as reviews of Broken Paradise here, including the following by Carlos Eire:

An exquisitely transcendent love story in which earth, sea and sky play as large a role as the main characters, Broken Paradise tells the epic tale of a Cuban family torn apart by the revolution and exile. At once a stunning literary achievement and vividly stirring historical testament, this novel bears witness to the real price exacted on human beings by ideologically driven social experiments. Gripping, poignant and enlightening, it is also a profound meditation on the complexities of the human heart and the redeeming power of love.

And this from the author is a must read.

If you want a copy of Broken Paradise for yourself, or wish to send one to your favorite blog editor, you can purchase it via Amazon, right here.

4 thoughts on “Broken Paradise”

  1. Your story about the plum tree, your tribute to your father’s craftmanship and all the other stories of your family’s life in Cuba and in exile with which you have regaled us on babalú over the years are not inferior in art or interest to Eire’s or Samartino’s. I do not say this to flatter you because I have nothing to gain by doing so. I simply want you to know where your greatest talent lies and have you recognize the concurrent responsibility of giving it the widest possible audience. Gather all these stories, put them in chronological order and you will see immediately what else needs to be included to fill out your book. And then do it.

  2. As a Cuban American, I am so proud of all of these Cuban writers that are establishing themselves all over the place. As an ethnic group–although this is never addressed by the mainstream media–we have become a cultural and literary powerhouse producing more writers than certainly all other Spanish speaking groups and on par with the most cultured non-hispanic groups in this country. Nationalities are often judged by their cultural contributions to the world, and we Cubans are certainly contributing to world culture with our amazing and ever expanding literary output! My congradulates to all of these Cuban authors, especially those that record for prosterity and as a means of counterbalancing Castro’s lies our history, our tragedy.

Comments are closed.