Vanishing Maps: A novel (Hardcover)
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From the acclaimed author of Dreaming in Cuban, a follow-up novel that tracks four generations of the del Pino family against the tumultuous backdrops of Cuba, the U.S., Germany, and Russia in the new millennium
"A beautiful novel: hilarious one moment, haunting the next.” —Chris Bohjalian, author of The Flight Attendant and The Lioness
Celia del Pino, the matriarch of a far-flung Cuban family, has watched her descendants spread out across the globe, struggling to make sense of their transnational identities and strained relationships with one another. In Berlin, the charismatic yet troubled Ivanito performs on stage as his drag queen persona, while being haunted by the ghost of his mother. Pilar Puente, adrift in Los Angeles, is a struggling sculptor and the single mother of a young son. In Moscow, Ivanito’s cousin Irina has become the wealthy owner of a lingerie company, but she remains deeply lonely in the wake of her parents’ deaths and her estrangement from her Cuban heritage. Meanwhile, in Havana, Celia prepares to reunite with her lost lover, Gustavo, and wonders whether age and the decades spent apart have altered their bond.
Cut off from their Cuban roots, yet still feeling the island’s ineluctable pull, Ivanito and his extended family try to reimagine where—and with whom—they belong. Over the course of a momentous year, each will grapple with their histories as they are pulled to Berlin for a final, explosive reunion.
Set twenty years after the events in Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina García’s new novel is an epic tale of family, devotion, and the timeless search for home.
About the Author
CRISTINA GARCÍA is the author of eight novels including Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, King of Cuba and Here in Berlin. García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fifteen languages. She’s taught at universities nationwide and is currently resident playwright at Central Works Theater in Berkeley.
"Full of antic energy, very funny though still quite tender . . . As moments of wisdom thread through the madcap, magical realist scenes, García’s reunion with her characters becomes a party worth attending." —The Washington Post
"An intricate, rewarding portrait of a globe-spanning, multigenerational family . . . Not only is García a masterful writer, effortlessly weaving together multiple narrative strands, she also demonstrates a remarkable facility for languages, switching from English to Spanish to Russian to German with ease . . . Vanishing Maps is, at heart, a book about family, yet it’s also about geography, culture, and language. There is something for everyone in its pages." —Washington Independent Review of Books
“A kaleidoscopic, dazzling portrait of global diaspora—the ties that bind, the winds that scatter, and the passions that connect and divide human hearts. Sexy and philosophical, cosmic and intimate, rippling with humor and insight and tenderness, this novel is a wonder and a joy to read.” —Carolina De Robertis, author of The President and the Frog
"Now here is a family saga for our time! Edgy, full of life, and compulsively readable, Vanishing Maps sends one Cuban family through the blender of history and brings it out miraculously whole. A triumph.” —Gish Jen, author of The Resisters
"Who else but Cristina Garcia could construct a novel of such elegance and grace? A feat of magical realism that is also a hyper-realistic depiction of the Cuban diaspora? That is also very, very funny? This family saga gripped me from start to finish. Unforgettable.” —Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year
"Vanishing Maps is a beautiful novel: hilarious one moment, haunting the next. Cristina García brings us to Cuba, Germany, Russia, Spain, and the United States in this wonderful mad dash of a tale, but the topography she knows best is the human heart. I devoured this book. You will, too.” —Chris Bohjalian, author of The Flight Attendant and The Lioness
“García serves up a sabroso (tasty) smorgasbord of muy human family foibles, from obsession to passion, forbearance, and all kinds of love.” — Booklist (starred review)