A Cuban rafter is telling a story to seven other men as they drift out at sea. Only what seems like a story is actually his glimpse into a parallel existence. Many years unfold in the storytelling as the balseros cling to life in the rough seas. Cara, the young artist, grows up to become a troubled teenager, and her brother, Alex, develops into a genius with a weight problem. Their, uncle, Diego, agrees to let them move in for the summer after a family crisis. As Diego inspires and motivates Cara and Alex, he falls in love with an emotionally unavailable coworker.
The storyteller does not reveal all that he knows about lives of Diego, Cara and Alex. But in his telling of the story, he tries to make sense of his own life and the erotic writings of the most mysterious person of all, his wife.
Meanwhile, in the parallel existence, the opposite of everything is true.
This is an instant classic that immediately makes artist turned author Carlos Aleman the next big thing in literature. He has a natural ability that few authors with decades of experience can match.” –Jonathan Marcantoni (The Feast of San Sebastian)
“…a surprising, heartfelt, emotional literary debut.” –Chris Campanioni (Going Down)
“Readers will fall in love with the poetic narrative, the memorable characters and the twists and turns of a most tantalizing story.” –The Latina Book Club
Born as he was, the son of a suicidal policeman and a self-destructive woman of ill-repute, Nuno arrived in the world with a capable heart and a mind ready to explore the mysteries of life. Nuno is evidence that the human experience can never be untangled from the unfurling of history, that we are all creatures of our time even though time can never define us. Though our quarrelling natures visit travesties upon the world, we also accept, as Nuno does, that our capacity to connect will ripple outward enriching all who would recognize the infinite within an action. In the juxtaposition of our ferocious capacity for violence and the limitless potential of our capacity for love, Nuno embodies the paradox of the human experience, that our momentary existance is an artifact of eternity. Through Nuno -in his discovery of love and through his crucible as a political prisoner in communist Cuba- we, the lucky readers who have discovered this tale, are given a chronicle of one man’s discovery of both the timeliness and timelessness of the human experience and the healing balm love provides even in the darkest crises of the soul.
I picked up this book a few weeks ago with the intent to read it as soon as my classes were over. It took a couple days but yesterday I finally had the chance to crack it open. I read it in a day. I spent the night trying to come up with the words that could sufficiently describe what I read and the emotions that siezed me while I sat for hours in my room completely enraptured by one of the greatest love stories I have ever read. I fear that even with all my hours of contemplation on what this review would hold, all my pondering would be inadequate in fully projecting to you the splendor held between both covers of Nuno. Influences of authors like Neruda, and Marquez come to mind, within its proses full of love, despair, and hope, but interestingly it is authors Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama that are most reminiscent due to the wisdom and insight of life Carlos infuses within the story in a way that is both subtle and eye opening. There were times I felt I was reading a soundtrack to a movie, the words as notes undulating, taking me with it on a melodious journey from hope to despair to wonderment. It is as if the author has poured his soul, intact, beautifully, in a book and it is a gift to all of us. One we should treasure and one I will share most certainly with others, for it would be a great loss for a story so exquisitely written to ebb into obscurity.” —Suset Marcantoni
[For mature readers] The uncovering of a mystery results in a circle of friends being suspected of involvement in an antigovernment plot. Meanwhile, in another country, an alternate reality converges with the lives of the friends, as one man exchanges his life to be with the woman he loves.
This book is not only a mind-bender, it is a comedy, it is a romance, it is a mystery, and you will be talking about it for weeks afterwards.” —Jonathan Marcantoni