Never through Miami
by Roberto Quesada
Translated by Patricia Duncan
Published: 01 Apr 2002
Bind: Trade Paperback
Elías Sandoval stands in the line at Miami International Airport, desperately hoping he has picked the right immigration agent, the one who will open the doors to the promise of America. Elías comes to the United States hoping to storm the arts scene as a sculptor, only to be handed a dishcloth and a tray for clearing dishes. His quest leads the reader through a series of misadventures on the path taken by so many Latin American immigrants: from the lines of U.S. immigration to the kitchen sinks of restaurants and the bellboy-bound corridors of hotels in New York City.
In Central America, he has left Helena, who through anxious—and hilarious—phone exchanges exerts constant pressure on her far-off boyfriend to send for her, in the hopes that she can fulfill her mother’s lifelong dream of hobnobbing with ex-dictators’ wives in Miami.
Raucous culture conflict and communication barriers due to poor translation and off-kilter antics comprise Quesada’s formula for fun while exploring the ambiguous status of Latino immigrants fresh off the proverbial boat.
“Quesada’s energetic prose makes this a swift, pleasing read—and nice reinforcement for anyone doubting the hopes and dreams powering America and its melting pot population.”—Publishers Weekly
ROBERTO QUESADA is the author of the acclaimed novel, The Big Banana (Arte Público Press, 1999), The Ships (Los barcos), and The Human and the Goddess (El humano y la diosa). Born in Olanchito, Honduras, Quesada founded and, for several years, directed the literary magazine Sobrevuelto. He lives and works in New York City.