Cocuyo / Firefly
Novel , 1990
Firefly (Cocuyo) is a dream-like evocation of pre-war Cuba, replete with hurricanes, mystical cults and slave-markets. The story is the coming-of-age of a precocious and exuberant boy with an oversized head and underdeveloped sense of direction, who views the world as a threatening conspiracy. Told in breathless and lyrical prose, the novel is a loving rendition of a long-lost home, a meditation on exile, and an allegory of Cuba’s isolation in the world.
“Dazzling and ultimately quite haunting … Fried has maintained the dark beauty and mystery of the work … Rich poetry, elusive plotting, and layered images make for an interesting read.” Kirkus Reviews
“Severo Sarduy has everything…so brilliant, so funny, and so bewilderingly apt in his borrowings, his derivations, as well as in his inventions, his findings, he leaves one breathless, like a shot of rum.” Richard Howard
“Sarduy rendered the epiphany of the body luminous, where the pleasure of the void meets the furious fire of the world.” The Washington Post
“..it is the language—the singing, ringing language—that makes Firefly a master work.” New York Journal of Books