Photo of Havana by Mr Jaded used under a Creative Commons license.
G. Cabrera Infante, Three Trapped Tigers (Dalkey Archive Press, 2004).
In the Salon Literary Guide to the World, Tony D’Souza writes:
. . . G. Cabrera Infante’s 1958 masterpiece . . . captures Havana as it was, a place of Santeria and frantic drinking, of mystical black women and handsome young men in their best outfits with not much to do under the oppressive shadow of politics. Half a century later, not much has changed. The things the thugs in power on both sides of the strait can’t control continue to be the starry Havana nights, the hectic energy of the Habaneras, the rum, and the brassy music that sets everything off once the sun goes down. Infante, who at first embraced the Revolution, but later died in exile, knew that love is possible at every turn in Havana, especially if it’s only for one night. This novel, the best the city has ever produced, is an anatomy of the fecund Havana we dream of finding, and if we possess the bravery to go there in these times, we still do.
N.B. – For some reason, Amazon doesn’t seem to have the Dalkey Archive Press edition, but you can buy it directly from the publisher here.
Google Book Search has an excerpt and links. Here is another excerpt, and here is something more than an enhanced excerpt from Michele Voltaire Marcelin. And Audience Of One likes this moment. Here is Infante’s obituary in The New York Times. The Complete Review has links to more obituaries, and to this 1983 interview at The Paris Review. David Thomson wrote this appreciation of Infante’s work in The Independent. Bob Williams reviewed Three Trapped Tigers at The Compulsive Reader. John Skow reviewed it for Time. Stephen Schenkenberg wrote this brief review. Many GoodReads members have written reviews. The New York Review of Books’ 1971 review cannot be read unless you pay for the privilege, but you can read this exchange of letters in response to it. Marcelo Ballvé writes about Three Trapped Tigers and Infante’s other fiction in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. If you Google “Dalkey Archive Interview Infante,” you’ll find that the first result is two interviews with Infante from the early 1980s, but as of now the link is broken. It appears that the Dalkey Archive changed the links since late February and in so doing made a minor error. Either read the cached version, or maybe the link will be fixed by the time you read this. Greg Rappleye has some of it. Andy Garcia was inspired by the book to make the 2005 movie, The Lost City, a labor of love. More about the movie here, including a trailer.