Cuba and the Night
Paperback – 126 pages
ISBN: 0704380226 / 9780704380226
Richard is an American news photographer at an emotional dead end, who has made it through life largely on bravado and a policy of noncommitment. In Havana on assignment, he meets, and at first scarcely notices, a vivacious young cubana named Lourdes, who may -- or may not -- be in search of a foreigner who can help her get out. Gradually, amid a confusion of motives, the two are drawn together in a passionate affair whose poignant outcome surprises both of them -- and us.
This is Pico Iyer's first novel. Viewed purely as a rich, pungent, and unusually intimate description of the daily life and death of Havana, with its frequent electrical blackouts and ubiquitous secret police, it could only be the work of the author of Video Night in Kathmandu and Falling Off the Map. But it is far more. Pico Iyer here also shows himself capable of telling a wonderful story -- romantic yet witty, deeply affecting yet delicately ironic, and completely convincing. Cuba and the Night is a delight.