Abilio Estevez's debut novel, Thine is the Kingdomwas set in pre-revolutionary Havana and hailed as a marvel of allusive Spanish prose. The author was born in Havana in The Cuban capital was then effectively a colony of Las Vegas, distinguished by its mafia nightclubs and dancing girls in spangled headdresses.
Estevez was a young boy when Castro seized power inand is no stranger to the indignity of bread queues and police surveillance. Distant Palaceshis second novel, unfolds in communist Havana during the
Abilio estevez homosexual relationships days of the 20th century. After four decades of Soviet-style planning, all talk is of the "Yanqui" dollar and how to obtain it.
Impoverished children of the revolution solicit in the surf of Havana Bay, and their pimps are often only teenagers.
The book's disaffected homosexual hero, Victorio, roams the depressed city in search of food and companionship. Worried about Castro's police, he is a fear-ridden, homeless misfit.
As we accompany him on his listless peregrinations, Estevez takes us on a
Abilio estevez homosexual relationships tour of Havana. The city's collapsing promenades and salt-eaten arcades are described in startling images and conceits. Indeed, the tottering Caribbean city is the real protagonist of Distant Palaces.
In the course of his wanderings, Victorio encounters a young prostitute, Salma, Abilio estevez homosexual relationships ensnares middle-aged German tourists in search of cheap sex and Havana's promise of tropical oblivion. Like most Cubans today, Salma and Victorio are getting hungrier, yet apparently more defiant as they continue their own kind of Dunkirk spirit in the face of drastic belt-tightening. The child of diehard Fidelistas, Victorio has grown to detest the ever-watchful eye of Castro's police.
One day while evading surveillance, Victorio stumbles on a disused theatre, where an elderly clown in hideous makeup lives amid the collapsed opera boxes.
The clown persuades Victorio to join him in bizarre acts of impromptu theatre in which hospitals, old people's homes, cemeteries and warehouses "any place where grief is to be found" are targeted for unrehearsed poetry and mime recitals.
Victorio is heckled and stoned for his "guerilla art", yet Estevez presents theatre as an antidote to poverty and political oppression. Distant Palaces,
Abilio estevez homosexual relationships its Jean Genet-like disquisitions on Abilio estevez homosexual relationships and life, is not without pretentiousness, yet Havana's ravishing decay has never been more beautifully rendered.
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