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The Island of Eternal Love Paperback – Bargain Price, June 2, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-Chicago Sun- Times
"A rich, moving, musical novel."
"[An] ambitious novel."
"Rich, satisfying...this work is an absolute delight."
More About the Author
In 1991, she moved to Miami, Florida (USA), where she lives since then. Outside Cuba she has published País de dragones, a short-story collection for young adults; a poetry book, Confesiones eróticas y otros hechizos; and the series of novels «The Occult Side of Havana», consisting of El hombre, la hembra y el hambre; Casa de juegos; Gata encerrada; and La isla de los amores infinitos (The Island of Eternal Love), that has become the most widely translated Cuban novel of all time with editions in 25 languages.
Daína Chaviano has received several international recognitions, like the Anna Seghers Award (Berlin Academy of Arts, Germany, 1990); Azorín Prize for Best Novel (Spain, 1998); Goliardos International Award for Fantasy (Mexico, 2003); Guest of Honor at the 25th International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (Fort Lauderdale, 2004); and Gold Medal for Best Book in Spanish Language (Florida Book Awards, 2006).
Recognized as the most prominent contemporary Cuban author of science fiction and fantasy, Daína Chaviano exercises equal virtuosity in the traditional (mainstream) narrative mode. She melds realistic and historical elements with aspects of science fiction, fantasy, and Gothic literature. Her themes encompass mythology, ancient history, sociology, parapsychology, eroticism, politics, and magic, all developed in a language filled with poetic, sensual imagery.
Her works have been described as "wild experiments in genre-busting. It's as if Ray Bradbury married Michael Ende and frolicked occasionally with Anaïs Nin." (Críticas Magazine, USA, Jan-Feb. 2004)
Top Customer Reviews
The reader is transported back to China and follows the migration of a young, hopeful Chinese family to the island and learns of the survival, assimilation, and racial challenges that ensue. The Spanish conquerors and the enslaved Africans are represented in their historical context and the comingling of the races is inevitable and evident in the colorful landscape of Cubans today. What also emerges is the manifestation of curses, superstitions, and mythical lore evidenced in segments where a mischievous imp torments the chosen women of one family for generations and a mysterious phantom house randomly that appears throughout Little Havana, which ironically (or perhaps it is fate) becomes Cecilia's assignment at the newspaper where she is a reporter. The author eventually bridges the significance of the house, the disjointed family saga, and Cecelia's angst to wrap up the novel nicely.
This was my first time reading Chaviano and I chose to read it based on the synopsis, which hinted at a cross-cultural tale that explored the African, Chinese and Spanish ancestry of the Cuban people.Read more ›
Every night Cecilia returns to hear more about how Amalia's three racial-makeups that consolidated into hybrids in Cuba. The old woman adds plenty of romance, violence and blood along with fairies and imps assaulting the females. Especially cursing her relatives for generations is Martinico the imp who has seemingly harassed her and her family forever.
Using a Sherazade like narrator and fantasy elements also like in the Arabian Nights, Daina Chaviano provides an intriguing creative look at the multicultural roots that merged in Cuba. Thus readers obtain a glimpse at the impact of the Chine and the Spanish and to a lesser degree the African. Fans of historical fiction with a fascinating spin that will require an adjustment will enjoy the deep look at Cuban history and culture.
Chaviano's enthralling story has wrapped me in a nostalgic dream, one that has dwelt in my subconscious mind for years. It was the dream of a beautiful island paradise, one where love is indeed eternal, where the warm breezes of the Malecon enticed one with their romantic whispers, where the night pulsed with vibrant music, the music of the masters -- Ernesto Lecuona and Benny More...
This dream awakened once more in me as I read this enchanting story, which weaves the tales of three different families, three different ethnic groups, into one single thread. The experiences of each family also serve to highlight key periods of Cuban history.
There is the Chinese family, who seeks refuge from war in a land already sheltering their fellow countrymen. There is the African family, in the person of a young girl cruelly snatched from the bosom of her tribe, to be sold into slavery. Then there is the family from Spain, whose female members inherit a strangely humorous curse.
Cecilia, the protagonist, ties everything together through her unusual conversations with a mysterious old woman whom she meets in a Little Havana bar. This Miami neighborhood has been thus nicknamed for its heavy concentration of Cuban immigrants in the '60s and '70s.
As Cecilia listens to the old woman's strangely fascinating tale, Cuban boleros play in the background, while vistas of a Havana from a bygone era roll on a screen set up next to the dance floor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful weaving of fiction, fact and the spirits that move our hearts and drive our days to distraction. Highly recommended .Published on November 30, 2013 by SMB1
This was a bad translation selected by a member of my book club, and none of us liked it. One member could read it in Spanish, and got a whole different take on it. Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by christina metcalfe
Cecelia is an exile from Cuba, but feels isolated and detached from her new home in Miami. She meets an older woman in a Cuban-style bar, and becomes fascinated with Amalia's tales... Read morePublished on March 28, 2012 by Michelle Boytim
This is a novel that will keep you mesmerized from the first page to the last. Daina Chaviano does an excellent job of creating a story that intertwines across generations of... Read morePublished on January 31, 2011 by Maria C
I enjoyed this book, it had interesting story lines. I really liked the multi-generational elements but thought it was bit over done in the mystical aspect. Read morePublished on September 25, 2010 by marilu
The book was well written and full of whimsy. I really enjoyed reading about the family's history, but i thought that the modern story of Cecilia fell short. Read morePublished on September 23, 2010 by Sarah Rae