En el cielo con diamantes / In the Sky with Diamonds
Novel , 2007
Who could forget the Coppelia ice cream shop from the film Strawberry and Chocolate? There, David, a young revolutionary filled with prejudices, meets Diego, a homosexual who offers him his friendship and a new, more complex vision of the world and of his country.
En el cielo con diamantes precedes that fateful meeting. David is now a teenager filled with hopes and dreams that take him away from his family, bringing him to Havana to study with a scholarship from the Revolutionary Government. He arrives very idealistic and with the firm conviction that in order to be happy in the personal sphere and useful in the social sphere he urgently needs to attain a girlfriend and a buddy. But he is weighed down by a curse, and to achieve his goal he not only has to fight against his shyness and the difficulties and shortages of the period, but also against witchcraft. David is the victim of a spell that states that if he doesn't lose his virginity before he turns seventeen, he will die of sadness and melancholy. A friend soon appears who helps him but also, without intending to, pushes him further into the flames and mire. This friend is Arnaldo, an heir to the island's national craftiness adapted to socialism, both a guardian angel and a devil, a ladies' man and a firebrand.
En el cielo con diamantes brings together so many different stories and tones that it is one of those novels that it would be impossible, and unfair, to try to sum up. It reads easily and seems to be simple, but it is supported by a complex artistic process. Within this book magic and reality intertwine, as do the things of this world and the lyrical, and gravity and lightness, and irreverence and love. A novel sure to become essential to understanding the recent Cuban spiritual trajectory.
“I've been asked many times to write a sequel to Strawberry and Chocolate for the screen, but instead I wrote the prequel, and not for film but for literature. When you tell a Cuban to do one thing, he does the opposite.” Senel Paz