The Cigar Roller
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Master storyteller Pablo Medina's The Cigar Roller is a radiant novel recounting the life of Cuban master cigar roller Amadeo Terra. A proud and capricious man, tobacco has been the center of Amadeo's life, the source of his passion. For his considerable talents with the leaves he had been forgiven a great number of sins. An imperious patriarch of enormous appetites, Amadeo now lies in a Florida hospital after a stroke looks back at his previously unexamined life. One day Nurse feeds him mango from a baby-food jar-a change from the tasteless mush he frequently rejects with defiance-and the taste brings memories of his life in Havana flooding back to him. He recalls his turbulent, passionate relationship with his wife Julia, his numerous romantic transgressions, the three sons he's kept at a distance, the political strife that forced his family to relocate from Cuba to Florida, and finally the tragedy that he's kept locked away. The Cigar Roller is a tour de force, an evocative, humorous and endearing and portrait of a once robust man who, at the end of his imperfect life, clamors for some dignity and grace as he comes to terms with his regrets.
Grove Press, 9780802142375, 178pp.
Publication Date: February 3, 2006