Three Trapped Tigers by Guillermo Cabrera Infante ; Translated From the Cuban by Donald Gardner and Suzanne Jill Levine in Collaboration With the Author
New York : Harper & Row, 1971. Stated "First U.S. Edition" on the copyright page. Hardcover. 487 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm. $8.95 dust jacket. Very good + copy, with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
This brilliantly inventive novel, which has been acclaimed in Europe and Latin America, is an extraordinary work of imagination and language. Set against the rhythmic, kaleidoscopic world of Havana night life in the 1950s, the characters are many and they appear and reappear in bars, night clubs, cars, bedrooms and the street. Writers, prostitutes, singers, homosexuals, photographers, tourists, lovers are all part of a world of fantasy and reality, imagery and truth—a world created, sustained, transported and connected by a dazzling collage of language which is alternately cerebral, exotic, humorous and sad. Meanings within meanings, puns, satire, jokes and rhythms are all part of the verbal pyrotechnics which create a mood that is exotic, suspenseful and always fascinating.
Three Trapped Tigers won the Biblioteca Breve prize in Spain in 1964, was a finalist in the Formentor Prize in 1965, and in 1970 won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger in Paris. It is a remarkable and original work of fiction that propels the reader into a new dimension of experience and reality.
GUILLERMO CABRERA INFANTE was born in 1929 in Gibara, a small town on the northern coast of Oriente Province in Cuba, not far from where both Batista and Fidel Castro were born. In 1941 his family moved to Havana, where his father, one of the founders of the Cuban Communist Party, worked at the newspaper Hoy. Poverty forced Cabrera Infante to abandon a dreamed-of medical career and he worked at assorted jobs—one of which was proofreading. He graduated from the Havana school of journalism in 1952, and in 1954 started a weekly movie column for Carteles, a popular magazine. He founded and directed the Cinemateca de Cuba, a film society which was closed by the government in 1956.
After the Revolution, Cabrera Infante was appointed head of the Council of Culture and then one of the directors of the Film Institute. He also edited the cultural weekly Lunes de Revolucion from its inception in 1959 until it was banned in 1961. From 1962 to 1965 he was with the Cuban Embassy in Brussels.
Cabrera Infante returned to Havana in 1965 and then decided to leave Cuba. He now lives in London with his wife and two daughters and a British-born Siamese cat named Diego Offenbach. Cabrera Infante, who has also written short stories, film criticism and screen plays, is now working on his second novel, for which, in 1970, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.
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