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Ernesto Mestre-Reed


Rafa, an Afro-Cuban orphan from the provinces, moves to Havana with nothing to his name and no clue what his future will be or what he stands for (he doesn't even know his age-seventeen? eighteen?). He falls into a job as a waiter in a tiny makeshift tourist restaurant that the resilient, middle-aged Cecilia has created out of her backyard patio. Rafa is soon drawn into a web of bizarre, ever-shifting entanglements, first with Cecilia's older son Nicolas and eventually with her younger son, the charismatic Renato, leader of the counter-revolutionary group, "Los Injected Ones."

Meanwhile, Rafa becomes sexually and politically involved with Steffan, a German tourist of uncertain allegiances. When Renato eventually goes missing, Rafa's search for Cecilia's son takes him through various haunts in Havana: from an AIDS sanatorium, to the guest rooms of tourist hotels, to the outskirts of the capital, where he enters a phantasmagorical slum cobbled together from the city's detritus by Los Injected Ones.

Sacrificio is a virtuosic work, a novel of cascading prose that captures a nation in slow collapse. Mestre-Reed assembles a vast array of characters, nesting stories within stories, dialogs within dialogs, identities within other, hidden identities, building fascinating mosaics of narrator and narrated to create a visionary work that captures the fury, passion, fatalism, and grim humor of young lives lived at the margins of a society they desperately wish to change.

Format: Hardcover
Published: USA, 2022
Publisher: Soho Pr Inc
Pages: 440
Language: English
ISBN 13: 9781641293648
ISBN 10: 1641293640

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