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Hagiogrphy of Narcisa the Beautiful

“Satirical, darkly comic novel set in 1950s Cuba … explores inequality inherent in gender roles and oppression of women in Cuban society. Excellent text for women’s studies classes.” HANDBOOK OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

“This abrasive and lively novel memorably analyses…a hilariously dysfunctional family.” KIRKUS REVIEWS

Playing on the rich Latin American literary tradition of the Saint’s Life, Cuban writer Mireya Robles creates a humorous, ultimately horrifying vision of the nuclear family in her Hagiography of Narcisa the Besutiful - a text innovative in its style and even more in its exploration of homosexuality, lesbianism, and the destructive power of traditional gender and family roles.

The philandering father, the sensitive yet sadistic older brother, the mother living on radio soap operas, the pretty, empty-headed younger sister – all are seen through the eyes of Narcisa, the relentlessly optimistic and ecstatic ugly duckling of her family. Narcisa’s imagination both endows and parodies her surroundings with rich comedy and grotesqueness.

Cover art: Mona Lisa, Age Twelve by Fernando Botero