Cubop City Bluesby Pablo Medina
“Rich and stunning . . . with an incredibly intricate scaffolding . . . Another triumph.” —Rigoberto Gonzalez, Los Angeles Review of Books
Poet and novelist Pablo Medina’s new book, Cubop City Blues, fuses raw, passionate language and elegant lyricism to breathe life into a musically disguised New York City, shaped by jazz masters, refugees, and storytellers.
Our guide into Cubop City is The Storyteller, born nearly blind and shrouded in his mother’s guilt. He’s homeschooled inside his parents’ crumbling apartment with a European housekeeper and educated through The Encyclopedia Britannica, the Bible, and The Arabian Nights. When he’s twenty-five, his mother and father, both Cuban exiles, are diagnosed with cancer, and The Storyteller alone is left to care for them. He does so by telling them stories conceived from the prolific reading that allowed his imagination to deepen and flourish despite little contact with the outside world.
Molded in the cadence and harmony of Afro-Cuban jazz, Cubop City Blues is a symphonic portrait of a bustling urban landscape and the intimate lives and stories that give a city its voice.
“A kaleidoscopic depiction of life in exile.” —Leonard Lopate
“[Medina’s] most touching novel to date . . . A rich and stunning novel with an incredibly intricate scaffolding. . . . Yet another triumph.” —Rigoberto Gonzalez, Los Angeles Review of Books
“[A] haunting love letter to New York . . . Vivifies the cityscape over many decades with tales of love, death, and exile . . . Rich and accomplished . . . Medina has a keen eye for the ebb and flow of desire. . . . There is beauty, suffused with a muted melancholy, in Medina’s attempt to capture the rhythms of life.” —Publishers Weekly
“An enjoyable read that reminds us the world is as expansive as our imagination. Readers who enjoy the work of Omar Torres and Cristina Garcia will want to add Medina to their reading list.” —Library Journal
“Storytelling that playfully illuminated the essence of storytelling.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The pulsating background of Afro Latin infuses this narrative with a contagious vivacity.” —Our Man in Boston