News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Cream of Cuban Society

The first in a series of excerpts from The Skinny Years.

        “If Batista and his low-life cronies have become the cream of Cuban society, then it won’t be long before that scoundrel Castro is taking his morning sh*t in the Presidential Palace,” the old woman yelled at her son-in-law before shuffling out of the room.
        “Your mother has a lot of class, Alicia,” Juan said dryly. “Unfortunately, it’s all low.”

Surfers, soul brothers, hippies, and thugs — they’re all part of Victor “Skinny” Delgado’s world growing up in Miami during the turbulent 1960s. Fleeing the Castro regime in Cuba, Skinny’s once-wealthy family moves from a mansion in Havana to a roach-infested bungalow in Miami’s low-rent Wynwood district. Over the next ten years the Delgados struggle to survive in this strange new land—a place where fat men in red suits enter your home through the chimney, demons appear at the door begging for candy, and young women go on dates without chaperones. There’s only one constant in Skinny's world as he grows from 8 to 18. He longs in vain for the girl of his dreams: his neighbor Janice Bockman who seems everything American—and everything he’s not.

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