(1929–), Cuban novelist, born in Gibara, Oriente Province, educated at the School of Journalism in Cuba, the son of the founders of the Cuban Communist Party. Among other posts, he was director of the Cuban Film Institute and cultural attaché at the Cuban Embassy in Brussels, before leaving Cuba in 1965 and becoming a British subject. Holy Smoke (1985), a wittily surreal account of cigars, combines the historical, social, and economic paradoxes of the New World with excursions into Hollywood films; the book is characteristically mined with puns. His novels translated from Spanish include Three Trapped Tigers (1971) and Infante's Inferno (1984). Works translated by the author, with others, include View of Dawn in the Tropics (1988; translated with S. J. Levine), an impressionistic modern history of Cuba; A Twentieth-Century Job (1991; translated with Kenneth Hall), a collection of his early film criticism; Writes of Passage (1993; translated with J. Brookesmith and P. Boyars), containing short stories; and Mea Cuba (1994; translated with Kenneth Hall), a collection of strongly anti-Castro writings-in-exile from 1968 to 1993, and other pieces. Among his screenplays, written in English, are the Hollywood films Vanishing Points (1969) and The Lost City (1990).
From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).