Thursday, January 12, 2017
Whether or not he is Oscar Mandinga, and whether or not the town of Pata de Puerco exists, or whether it is an invention of his troubled brain, the lives of its inhabitants are always fascinating, and the way in which the author weaves in the strands of Cuban history contributes skilfully to the story (there are distortions, fully acknowledged in the author's notes, for instance works of a real life architect are attributed to one of the fictional characters in the story).
Carlos Acosta, interestingly, is a Cuban ballet dancer. Besides his one novel he has written a memoir, No Way Home. (This sounds intriguing - how a delinquent kid from Havana, dreaming of becoming a soccer player, became one of the world's best ballet dancers). Pig's Foot is published by Bloomsbury and translated from Spanish by Frank Wynne.