In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd
Pushcart Prize winner Ana Menendez landed firmly in the literary landscape last year with the hardcover publication of In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd. Reviewers overwhelmingly agree that she is an important new voice in American fiction: hers is "a bright debut that points to even brighter accomplishments to come" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times), a tour de force that is "poignant and varied, emotionally vivid and hauntingly melancholy" (San Francisco Chronicle), and "a Cuban odyssey that conjures up Eugene O'Neill-like drama" (Kirkus Reviews). In these linked tales about the Cuban-American experience and the immigrant experience in general, Ana Menendez has instantly established herself as a natural storyteller who "probes with steady humor and astute political insight the dreams versus the realities of her characters" (Elle). From the prizewinning title story -- a masterpiece of humor and heartbreak -- unfolds a series of family snapshots that illuminate the landscape of an exiled community rich in heritage, memory, and longing for the past. In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd is at once "tender and sharp-fanged" (L.A. Weekly) as Ana Menendez charts the territory from Havana to Coral Gables with unforgettable passion and explores whether any of us are capable, or even truly desirous, of outrunning our origins. "Achingly wise." -- Richard Eder, the New York Times Book Review "Menendez taps into [a] wellspring of broken promises and unfulfilled desires and gives us a ... peek at ... the Cuban-American experience." -- Ariel Gonzalez, The Miami Herald "Menendez offers a lilting narrative that sways soulfully between past and present, longing and regret, joy and tragedy." -- Donna Rifkind, The Baltimore Sun "Superb ... The community that emerges in these pages is one of humor, acute grief, and gifted storytelling." -- Fionn Meade, The Seattle Times "The first work of a young writer with a bright future." -- Jay Goldin, Fort Worth Morning Star-Telegram "A tender and occasionally sharp-fanged portrait of Miami's Cuban-exile community ... Brave and funny and true." -- Ben Ehrenreich, L.A. Weekly "A raucous, heartfelt debut...Deft, talented and hilarious...." -- Junot Diaz
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In Cuba I was a German shepherdUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
This delightfully rich collection of interrelated short stories focuses on Cuban immigrants in Miami. The title story, also featured in the 2001 Pushcart Prize anthology, tells of four elderly men ... Read full review
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Story of a Parrot
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afraid Alicia Anselmo Antonio arms asked Astor Piazzolla aunt Julia banana baseball beautiful began bird blue breath Breyten Breytenbach Brickell Avenue Carlos chest close Cuba Cuban dark daughter dominos door dreams Ernesto says everything eyes face father Felipe fingers flan German Shepherd grandmother green guayabera hair hand Havana head hear Hortencia Joaquin Juanito Junot Diaz kitchen knew laugh leaves light Lisette Lisidro listening Little Havana Matilde Matun Maximo looked Miami Mirta morning mother moved never night nodded okay old uncle Olodumare orishas Orlandito Oshun palms pieces pulled quiet rain Raul remember restaurant sand sapodilla screaming shadow shakes shouting sleep slowly smile soft standing stared stood stopped stories street suddenly talking tell thin things thought took trees Varadero voice waiting walked wanted watched whispered wind window woman
Page 3 - ... one-half imbecile. But really it was that no one plays to lose. You begin to lose again and again and it reminds you of other things in your life, the despair of it all begins to bleed through and that is not what games are for. Who wants to live their whole life alongside the lucky? But Maximo and Raul liked these blessed Dominicans, appreciated the well-oiled moves of two old pros. And if the two Dominicans, afraid to be alone again, let them win now and then, who would know, who could ever...
Page 1 - A good one, my friend." Carlos laughed long and loud. Antonio laughed too, but he was careful to not laugh too hard and he gave his friend a sharp look over the racket he was causing. He and Carlos were Dominican, not Cuban, and they ate their same foods and played their same games, but Antonio knew they still didn't understand all the layers of hurt in the Cubans
Page 11 - Calm down, hombre," Carlos said, opening his arms wide, a nervous giggle beginning in his throat. "What's gotten into you?" Antonio waved his hand and sat down. A diesel truck rattled down Eighth Street, headed for downtown. "My daughter is a district attorney in Los Angeles," Maximo said after the noise of the truck died. "December is one of the busiest months.
Page 2 - Avenue. At Domino Park, he sat with Raul and they played alone that first day, Maximo noticing his own speckled hands, the spots of light through the banyan leaves, a round red beetle that crawled slowly across the table, then hopped the next breeze and floated away. Antonio and Carlos were not Cuban, but they knew when to dump their heavy pieces and when to hold back the eights for the final shocking stroke. Waiting for a table, Raul and Maximo would linger beside them and watch them lay their traps,...
Page 3 - Waiting for a table, Raul and Maximo would linger beside them and watch them lay their traps, a succession of threes that broke their opponents, an incredible run of fives. Even the unthinkable: passing when they had the piece to play. Other twosomes began to refuse to play with the Dominicans, said that tipo Carlos gave them the creeps with his giggling and monosyllables. Besides, any team that won so often must be cheating, went the charge, especially a team one-half imbecile. But really it was...