The Palace of the White Skunks
The second novel in the quintet that began with the internationally acclaimed Singing from the Well, Reinaldo Arenas's The Palace of the White Skunks is a brilliant, hallucinatory, and erotically charged portrait of Cuba on the eve of its 1959 revolution. It is the story of Fortunato, a dreamy, sullen boy trapped in a house full of abandoned aunts in a decrepit backwater. Tormented by sexual desires for both men and women, he hears, in his family's quarrels, the crackle of rebel gunfire--a sound that will beckon him into a world as demented as the one he has sworn to escape. Like an inspired collaboration between Marcel Proust and the magic realists, The Palace of the White Skunks is a masterpiece encompassing all the squalor, spectacle, and tragedy of Cuba under two dictators.
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