The Big Banana
by Roberto Quesada
Translated by Walter Krochmal
Published: 31 Mar 1999
Bind: Trade Paperback
With his seductively entertaining new novel, The Big Banana, Roberto Quesada invokes the magic of great Latin American fiction as he follows the struggles of an ensemble cast of endearingly eccentric characters chasing their dreams in New York City.
Meet Eduardo, the Honduran screen-star-wannabe; his great love, Miriam whose obsession with Bond — James Bond (the one played by Roger Moore, quite specifically) — leads to a purely un-accidental international encounter; and a host of zany Central and South American acquaintances — especially the Chilean Casagrande, the fun-loving, magnanimous, professionally unemployed mystic-philosopher-musician-singer who brings them all together.
Against the backdrop of their hardscrabble everyday lives, Quesada wields a bold brush to paint in broad strokes a festive mural awash in the vivid colors of the outlandish fantasies that drive Eduardo and his friends. Ultimately, the elusive prize of friendship and laughter dwarf the seemingly larger goals of money and success.
“Eduardo Lin, the protagonist of this lighthearted novel, drifts around New York’s Latin American community, charming everyone he meets (especially women)…[A] jaunty tale.”
“An often hilarious novel…There is a breezy literary self-consciousness here that dares one to find fault.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Quesada is at his inventive peak when re-creating New York’s bohemian Latino colony with illuminating clarity.”
“[A] lively and gifted writer full of amusing and thought-provoking ideas.”
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.