The Marks of Birth

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Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994 - Fiction - 275 pages
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The Marks of Birth by Pablo Medina introduces a vibrant new voice in Cuban-American fiction. Set in an imaginary island in the Caribbean, The Marks of Birth follows the life of Felicia Turner and the men in her family: her son Fernando, her brother Antonio, and, above all, her grandson Anton. Tossed about by political events over which they have no control, Anton and his parents are forced to flee the island by boat. Their arrival in Key West, and later in New York City, marks the beginning of the marvels and horrors they will encounter in el Norte and Anton's realization that his personal destiny can only be "fulfilled in blood." With a remarkable command of narrative, at once picaresque and poignant, magical and memorable, The Marks of Birth is a powerful portrait of a people in exile and a paean to human folly.

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The marks of birth

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In poet and memoirist Medina's first novel, beautiful images are woven seamlessly into the prose, giving further evidence of his lyrical gifts. The story begins in the affluent world of an unnamed ... Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Pablo Medina's poetry has been called "exuberant," "provocative," and "nothing short of linguistic mastery." Born in Big Banana Havana, Medina grew up in Big Apple New York. Fruit, he loves fruit. He longs for Big Papaya, pink and juicy, of which he can't get enough. He is also a novelist, translator, and essayist. His books of poetry include THE MAN WHO WROTE ON WATER (Hanging Loose Press, 2011), THE FLOATING ISLAND (White Pine Press, 1999), and ARCHING INTO THE AFTERLIFE (Bilingual Review Press, 1991). Medina lives in Boston, in an exile surrounded by icicles, and is on the faculty at Emerson College and Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

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