A View from the Mangrove

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, Apr 1, 2000 - Fiction - 256 pages
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In this masterful collection of short stories, a celebrated Cuban writer continues his imaginative exploration of the genesis of the modern Caribbean world. Intent on recovering the interior history (la infra-historia) of this astonishingly diverse region, Antonio Benítez-Rojo ranges widely across time and geography. He also experiments with a variety of narrative techniques and prose styles, each intended to capture some unique aspect of the Caribbean's heterogeneous, polyrhythmic cultural heritage. Thus "The Broken Flute" centers on a tragic anthropological reflection; "Windward Passage" on the confessions of a guilty priest stationed in Hispaniola; "Summer Island" on events surrounding the colonization of St. Kitts; and "A View from the Mangrove" on the troubled days of a soldier during Cuba's War of Independence. The result is historical fiction of the first order, a vivid tapestry of characters and contexts. Whether describing the world through the eyes of a seventeenth-century African slave or an English slave trader, a French buccaneer or a Spanish official, an Aztec god's avatar or a Haitian grand blanc, Benítez-Rojo displays a rare gift for resurrecting the past in all its chaotic and compelling immediacy.

 

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Contents

Gentlemens Agreement
3
Incident in the Cordillera
25
The Broken Flute
34
Veracruz
51
St Martlns Cape
76
Windward Passage
96
Summer Island
116
Full Moon In Le Cap
147
A View from the Mangrove
170
Heaven and Earth
190
II
207
Marina 1936
209
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About the author (2000)

Former director of the Center for Caribbean Studies at Casa de las Americas in Cuba, Antonio Benítez-Rojo is the Thomas B. Walton, Jr., Memorial Professor at Amherst College.

James Maraniss is professor of Spanish at Amherst College and author of On Calderón.

Benitez-Rojo and Maraniss also collaborated on the novel Sea of Lentils (University of Massachusetts Press, 1990), which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review.

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