Animal: A novel
Pedro Juan Gutiérrez
& Graf, New York, United States
Translated from the Spanish by Peter Lownds
Original title: Animal tropical
Publication date: November 30, 2004
Echoing the raw vitality
of Henry Miller, Tropical Animal brings the return
of the already infamous Pedro Juan, the seductive protagonist
at the heart of Dirty
Havana Trilogy. Pursued by Gloria, a proud and sophisticated
prostitute on a mission to curb his predatory instincts, Pedro
Juan is holed up in his crumbling Havana apartment, painting,
with a growing sense of melancholy as he observes the lives
of the hustlers, hipsters, and hookers in the city below him.
An invitation to Sweden, of all places—cold, unwelcoming,
the antithesis of Pedro’s Cuba—gives him an official
way out, and the phone manner of his potential hostess offers
incentive enough for him to leave for the literary life in
Europe. However, once there he finds himself haunted by memories
of the passionate Gloria and increasingly uninspired by his
new environment. Does Pedro Juan, legendary seducer and imbiber
of hard liquor, finally have to admit that his game is over—to
be replaced by this more balanced, more secure, colder existence?
In tight, tough prose Pedro Juan Gutiérrez explores
human animalism with a joyous fearlessness absent from much
of our contemporary culture and sheds a brilliant new light
into the depths and complexities of the soul.
This book won the Spanish
Novel Prize "Alfonso García-Ramos".
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