From the author of The Lazarus Rumba (“His symphonic imagination proves mesmerizing.” — New York Times Book Review; “Wonderful.” — Los Angeles Times ), an inventive, poignant new novel.
One night in April, Única Aveyano sneaks out of her Miami nursing home and wanders toward the sea. Whether she intends to end her life or simply look at the ocean depends on whom you believe. She leaves behind her husband, a devoted nurse, the solicitude of her family—and the images of a little boy named Elián Gonzalez that are all over the news.
Her rash decision sets in motion a gorgeously told tale that is at once comedy and elegy. Every lived moment evokes for Única a story from her past, and we live that past with her: from the ghosts of her mother and stepfather in 1930s Guantánamo, and her beloved but wayward son, who refused to leave Cuba with the rest of the family, to her exile in Miami and New York City.
A chronicle of the familiar and the strange, of madness and clarity, of the ambivalence of home and family, The Second Death of Única Aveyano reveals unforgettably an indomitable woman whose entire life now seems a dress rehearsal for the heady days before her death.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Religion eBook: The Second Death of Unica Aveyano|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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The Second Death of Unica Aveyano
Chapter OneSong of the Streets
SHE RECITES THE NAMES OF STREETS.
There is Cranberry and Orange and Pineapple, she says.
And she climbs their steep slopes to the wrought-iron benches on the promenade.
Maybe someday she can hold her grandson's head in her lap again, brush his lambswool hair as he falls asleep in the afternoon, like she did in the courtyard of their house in Cuba, and years later, in the little concrete patio outside their cramped apartment on Meridian Street.
There is Poplar and Willow and Vine, she says.
And in the park under the overpass some whispery aspens and leafy cottonwoods that she will not see bloom.
He used to let his hair grow long just for that-so that she could untangle it with her brush and with the ends of her fingers. He hid under her long skirts when his mother chased him, snipping her giant metallic shears in the air like a mad sheepwoman.
There is Love and Grace, she says.
And she follows each to its end, crumbling brick walls meshed in ivy. El culo del saco, se lo comi...