Pig’s Foot, by Carlos Acosta

Repeating Islands

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The acclaimed dancer’s debut novel is as lively and catchy as Cuban music, Eileen Battersby writes in this review for The Irish Times.

Exuberance and a gleeful return to the characteristic devices – and multiple excesses – of magic realism sustain the richly entertaining debut novel by the Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta. Pig’s Foot tells the story of a family’s adventures set against the racing backdrop of Cuba’s history.

On realising that with the death of his grandparents – he never knew his parents – he has been left alone, the narrator feels compelled to set the facts straight. “So like I said, my name’s Oscar Mandinga – pleased to meet you – now, back to the hazy past that was my childhood.”

His birth in a place called Pig’s Foot, “in the deep south of Cuba”, is relatively unusual: “I slid down my mother’s legs into the…

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