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The Distant Marvels
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Maria Sirena tells stories. She does it for money - she was a favourite in the cigar factory where she worked as a lectora - and for love, spinning gossamer tales out of her own past for the benefit of friends, neighbours and family. But now, like a modern-day Scheherazade, she will be asked to tell one last story so that eight women can keep hope, and themselves, alive as a deadly hurricane hits Cuba. The women are trapped together, and so Maria begins to tell the story of her childhood during Cuba's Third War of Independence.
Product Details

About the Author

Chantel Acevedo was born in Miami to Cuban parents. She is the author of A Falling Star (Carolina Wren Press, 2014), Love and Ghost Letters (St. Martins, 2006), winner of the Latino International Book Award, and The Distant Marvels (Europa, 2015). Acevedo is an Associate Professor of English in the MFA Program of the University of Miami.

Reviews

Praise for The Distant Marvels "Acevedo here makes a significant contribution to contemporary literature...This is a major, uniquely powerful, and startlingly beautiful novel that should bring Acevedo's name to the top echelon of this generation's writers." --Booklist (Starred Review) "Rich and engrossing...quite aside from the human perceptivity and warmth that distinguish The Distant Marvels, is a writing style of an elegance rarely encountered in contemporary fiction." --Philadelphia Inquirer "The Distant Marvels is a wonderful story about the stories we tell each other and what they reveal about ourselves." --The San Francisco Chronicle "Acevedo takes a great story to another level with her remarkable storytelling." --Cedar Rapids Gazette "Irresistible moments of rebellion and bravery define this tale." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) "As Hurricane Flora blows past Fidel Castro's new Cuba, Acevedo's heartbreaking and humane novel comes to a memorable conclusion." --Publishers Weekly "A modern riff on Scheherazade that celebrates the art of the story." --BookRiot "Acevedo's prose has an endearingly relaxed feel-like she's sitting across from you and telling the tale." --OZY "Chantel Acevedo is one of the most versatile and exciting writers of her generation, with a voice that speaks not only to the American experience, but to our universal humanity. I fall for her characters, whole-heartedly, while being covetous of her stunning prose." --Julianna Baggott, author of the Pure trilogy "Exquisitely rendered . . . The Distant Marvels is a Thousand and One Nights-style surrender to the true art of story telling." --Ana Castillo, author of The Guardians "The Distant Marvels is a compelling, gorgeously-written epic about Cuban women as fierce as the storms and the hardships they endure. Every scene, every detail, every utterance and intimacy feels richly, enchantingly true." --Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban "I loved The Distant Marvels . . . Acevedo's language is liquid and gathering, mirroring the great ebb and swell of political struggle, transcending love, as well as the events that have gathered the storyteller, Mar�a Sirena, and her audience together under one brilliantly constructed 'roof.'" --Ru Freeman, author of On Sal Mal Lane "The Distant Marvels is lush and captivating . . . The women in these pages survive to tell their tales, and oh, what wondrous stories they are." --Marie Manilla, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly "Chantel Acevedo brilliantly conveys the dual nature of the stories we tell ourselves, which achieve grace and transformation through tempestuous churning. The Distant Marvels, like love itself, is both storm and shelter at once." --Justin Torres, author of We the Animals "With enchanting novels such as A Falling Star and The Distant Marvels, Acevedo hovers between poetry and prose, romance and history, nostalgia and modern life." --Margarita Engle, author of The Surrender Tree "Love and Ghost Letters is enchanting; a heartfelt story...It captures, beautifully, the atmosphere and emotions of a time which, both Cuban Americans and many an American reader, will find both reminiscent and fulfilling. A great debut." --Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, on Love and Ghost Letters Praise for The Distant Marvels -Acevedo here makes a significant contribution to contemporary literature...This is a major, uniquely powerful, and startlingly beautiful novel that should bring Acevedo's name to the top echelon of this generation's writers.- --Booklist (Starred Review) -Rich and engrossing...quite aside from the human perceptivity and warmth that distinguish The Distant Marvels, is a writing style of an elegance rarely encountered in contemporary fiction.- --Philadelphia Inquirer -The Distant Marvels is a wonderful story about the stories we tell each other and what they reveal about ourselves.- --The San Francisco Chronicle -Acevedo takes a great story to another level with her remarkable storytelling.- --Cedar Rapids Gazette -Irresistible moments of rebellion and bravery define this tale.- --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) -As Hurricane Flora blows past Fidel Castro's new Cuba, Acevedo's heartbreaking and humane novel comes to a memorable conclusion.- --Publishers Weekly -A modern riff on Scheherazade that celebrates the art of the story.- --BookRiot -Acevedo's prose has an endearingly relaxed feel-like she's sitting across from you and telling the tale.- --OZY -Chantel Acevedo is one of the most versatile and exciting writers of her generation, with a voice that speaks not only to the American experience, but to our universal humanity. I fall for her characters, whole-heartedly, while being covetous of her stunning prose.- --Julianna Baggott, author of the Pure trilogy -Exquisitely rendered . . . The Distant Marvels is a Thousand and One Nights-style surrender to the true art of story telling.- --Ana Castillo, author of The Guardians -The Distant Marvels is a compelling, gorgeously-written epic about Cuban women as fierce as the storms and the hardships they endure. Every scene, every detail, every utterance and intimacy feels richly, enchantingly true.- --Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban -I loved The Distant Marvels . . . Acevedo's language is liquid and gathering, mirroring the great ebb and swell of political struggle, transcending love, as well as the events that have gathered the storyteller, Maria Sirena, and her audience together under one brilliantly constructed 'roof.'- --Ru Freeman, author of On Sal Mal Lane -The Distant Marvels is lush and captivating . . . The women in these pages survive to tell their tales, and oh, what wondrous stories they are.- --Marie Manilla, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly -Chantel Acevedo brilliantly conveys the dual nature of the stories we tell ourselves, which achieve grace and transformation through tempestuous churning. The Distant Marvels, like love itself, is both storm and shelter at once.- --Justin Torres, author of We the Animals-With enchanting novels such as A Falling Star and The Distant Marvels, Acevedo hovers between poetry and prose, romance and history, nostalgia and modern life.- --Margarita Engle, author of The Surrender Tree -Love and Ghost Letters is enchanting; a heartfelt story...It captures, beautifully, the atmosphere and emotions of a time which, both Cuban Americans and many an American reader, will find both reminiscent and fulfilling. A great debut.- --Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, on Love and Ghost Letters Praise for The Distant Marvels "Acevedo here makes a significant contribution to contemporary literature...This is a major, uniquely powerful, and startlingly beautiful novel that should bring Acevedo's name to the top echelon of this generation's writers." --Booklist (Starred Review) "Rich and engrossing...quite aside from the human perceptivity and warmth that distinguish The Distant Marvels, is a writing style of an elegance rarely encountered in contemporary fiction." --Philadelphia Inquirer "The Distant Marvels is a wonderful story about the stories we tell each other and what they reveal about ourselves." --The San Francisco Chronicle "Acevedo takes a great story to another level with her remarkable storytelling." --Cedar Rapids Gazette "Irresistible moments of rebellion and bravery define this tale." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) "As Hurricane Flora blows past Fidel Castro's new Cuba, Acevedo's heartbreaking and humane novel comes to a memorable conclusion." --Publishers Weekly "A modern riff on Scheherazade that celebrates the art of the story." --BookRiot "Acevedo's prose has an endearingly relaxed feel-like she's sitting across from you and telling the tale." --OZY "Chantel Acevedo is one of the most versatile and exciting writers of her generation, with a voice that speaks not only to the American experience, but to our universal humanity. I fall for her characters, whole-heartedly, while being covetous of her stunning prose." --Julianna Baggott, author of the Pure trilogy "Exquisitely rendered . . . The Distant Marvels is a Thousand and One Nights-style surrender to the true art of story telling." --Ana Castillo, author of The Guardians "The Distant Marvels is a compelling, gorgeously-written epic about Cuban women as fierce as the storms and the hardships they endure. Every scene, every detail, every utterance and intimacy feels richly, enchantingly true." --Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban "I loved The Distant Marvels . . . Acevedo's language is liquid and gathering, mirroring the great ebb and swell of political struggle, transcending love, as well as the events that have gathered the storyteller, Maria Sirena, and her audience together under one brilliantly constructed 'roof.'" --Ru Freeman, author of On Sal Mal Lane "The Distant Marvels is lush and captivating . . . The women in these pages survive to tell their tales, and oh, what wondrous stories they are." --Marie Manilla, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly "Chantel Acevedo brilliantly conveys the dual nature of the stories we tell ourselves, which achieve grace and transformation through tempestuous churning. The Distant Marvels, like love itself, is both storm and shelter at once." --Justin Torres, author of We the Animals"With enchanting novels such as A Falling Star and The Distant Marvels, Acevedo hovers between poetry and prose, romance and history, nostalgia and modern life." --Margarita Engle, author of The Surrender Tree "Love and Ghost Letters is enchanting; a heartfelt story...It captures, beautifully, the atmosphere and emotions of a time which, both Cuban Americans and many an American reader, will find both reminiscent and fulfilling. A great debut." --Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, on Love and Ghost Letters "A major, uniquely powerful, and startlingly beautiful novel that should bring Acevedo s name to the top echelon of this generation s writers." Booklist (Starred Review) "Irresistible moments of rebellion and bravery define this tale. Perfect timing for a Scheherazade-style account of Cuban history." Kirkus (Starred Review) As Hurricane Flora blows past Fidel Castro's new Cuba, Acevedo's heartbreaking and humane novel comes to a memorable conclusion. Publishers Weekly "Chantel Acevedo [...] has achieved a rich and engrossing portrayal of life in her ancestral Cuba." The Philadelphia Inquirer "A modern riff on Scheherazade that celebrates the art of the story." BookRiot "Acevedo's prose has an endearingly relaxed feel-like she's sitting across from you and telling the tale." OZY Chantel Acevedo is one of the most versatile and exciting writers of her generation, with a voice that speaks not only to the American experience, but to our universal humanity. I fall for her characters, whole-heartedly, while being covetous of her stunning prose. JULIANNA BAGGOTT, author of the Pure trilogy Exquisitely rendered . . . The Distant Marvels is a Thousandand One Nights-style surrender to the true art of story telling. ANA CASTILLO, author of The Guardians The Distant Marvels is a compelling, gorgeously-writtenepic about Cuban women as fierce as the storms and the hardshipsthey endure. Every scene, every detail, every utteranceand intimacy feels richly, enchantingly true. CRISTINA GARCIA, author of Dreaming in Cuban I loved The Distant Marvels . . . Acevedo s language is liquidand gathering, mirroring the great ebb and swell of political struggle, transcending love, as well as the events that have gatheredthe storyteller, Maria Sirena, and her audience togetherunder one brilliantly constructed roof. RU FREEMAN, author of On Sal Mal Lane The Distant Marvels is lush and captivating . . .The women in these pages survive to tell their tales, and oh, what wondrous stories they are. MARIE MANILLA, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly Chantel Acevedo brilliantly conveys the dual nature of the storieswe tell ourselves, which achieve grace and transformation throughtempestuous churning. The Distant Marvels, like love itself, is both storm and shelter at once. JUSTIN TORRES, author of We the Animals"With enchanting novels such as A Falling Star and The Distant Marvels, Acevedo hovers between poetry and prose, romance and history, nostalgia and modern life." MARGARITA ENGLE, author of The Surrender Tree Love and Ghost Lettersis enchanting; a heartfelt story It captures, beautifully, the atmosphere and emotions of a time which, both Cuban Americans and many an American reader, will find both reminiscent and fulfilling. A great debut. OSCAR HIJUELOS, author ofThe Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, onLove and Ghost Letters " As Hurricane Flora blows past Fidel Castro's new Cuba, Acevedo's heartbreaking and humane novel comes to a memorable conclusion. "Publishers Weekly" "A major, uniquely powerful, and startlingly beautiful novel that should bring Acevedo s name to the top echelon of this generation s writers." "Booklist (Starred Review)" "Irresistible moments of rebellion and bravery define this tale. Perfect timing for a Scheherazade-style account of Cuban history." "Kirkus (Starred Review)" "A modern riff on Scheherazade that celebrates the art of the story." "BookRiot " "Acevedo's prose has an endearingly relaxed feel-like she's sitting across from you and telling the tale."- "OZY" Chantel Acevedo is one of the most versatile and exciting writers of her generation, with a voice that speaks not only to the American experience, but to our universal humanity. I fall for her characters, whole-heartedly, while being covetous of her stunning prose. JULIANNA BAGGOTT, author of the Pure trilogy Exquisitely rendered . . . "The Distant Marvels" is a Thousandand One Nights-style surrender to the true art of story telling. " "ANA CASTILLO, author of" The Guardians " "The Distant Marvels" is a compelling, gorgeously-writtenepic about Cuban women as fierce as the storms and the hardshipsthey endure. Every scene, every detail, every utteranceand intimacy feels richly, enchantingly true. CRISTINA GARCIA, author of "Dreaming in Cuban " I loved "The Distant Marvels ." . . Acevedo s language is liquidand gathering, mirroring the great ebb and swell of political struggle, transcending love, as well as the events that have gatheredthe storyteller, Maria Sirena, and her audience togetherunder one brilliantly constructed roof. RU FREEMAN, author of" On Sal Mal Lane" "The Distant Marvels "is lush and captivating . . .The women in these pages survive to tell their tales, and oh, what wondrous stories they are. " "MARIE MANILLA, author of "The Patron Saint of Ugly" Chantel Acevedo brilliantly conveys the dual nature of the storieswe tell ourselves, which achieve grace and transformation throughtempestuous churning. ""The Distant Marvels," "like love itself," "is both storm and shelter at once. JUSTIN TORRES, author of" We the Animals""With encahnting novels such as "A Falling Star" and "The Distant Marvels," Acevedo hovers between poetry and prose, romance and history, nostalgia and modern life." -MARGARITA ENGLE, author of "The Surrender Tree" "Love and Ghost Letters"is enchanting; a heartfelt story It captures, beautifully, the atmosphere and emotions of a time which, both Cuban Americans and many an American reader, will find both reminiscent and fulfilling. A great debut. OSCAR HIJUELOS, author of"The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," on"Love and Ghost Letters "" "Irresistible moments of rebellion and bravery define this tale. Perfect timing for a Scheherazade-style account of Cuban history." -- "Kirkus (Starred Review)" "Chantel Acevedo is one of the most versatile and exciting writers of her generation, with a voice that speaks not only to the American experience, but to our universal humanity. I fall for her characters, whole-heartedly, while being covetous of her stunning prose." -- Julianna Baggott, author of the Pure trilogy "Exquisitely rendered . . . "The Distant Marvels" is a Thousand and One Nights-style surrender to the true art of story telling." " --"ANA CASTILLO, author of" The Guardians " ""The Distant Marvels" is a compelling, gorgeously-written epic about Cuban women as fierce as the storms and the hardships they endure. Every scene, every detail, every utterance and intimacy feels richly, enchantingly true." --CRISTINA GARCIA, author of "Dreaming in Cuban " "I loved "The Distant Marvels ." . . Acevedo's language is liquid and gathering, mirroring the great ebb and swell of political struggle, transcending love, as well as the events that have gathered the storyteller, MarIa Sirena, and her audience together under one brilliantly constructed 'roof.'" --RU FREEMAN, author of" On Sal Mal Lane" ""The Distant Marvels "is lush and captivating . . . The women in these pages survive to tell their tales, and oh, what wondrous stories they are." " --"MARIE MANILLA, author of "The Patron Saint of Ugly" "Chantel Acevedo brilliantly conveys the dual nature of the stories we tell ourselves, which achieve grace and transformation through tempestuous churning. ""The Distant Marvels," "like love itself," "is both storm and shelter at once." --JUSTIN TORRES, author of" We the Animals" "A haunting story...this multi-layered epic paints an intriguing picture of pre- and post-Castro Cuba and is a promising debut for Acevedo." --"Publishers Weekly" on "Love and Ghost Letters" ""Love and Ghost Letters" is enchanting; a heartfelt story...It captures, beautifully, the atmosphere and emotions of a time which, both Cuban Americans and many an American reader, will find both reminiscent and fulfilling. A great debut." --Oscar Hijuelos, author of "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," on "Love and Ghost Letters" "Chantel Acevedo is one of the most versatile and exciting writers of her generation, with a voice that speaks not only to the American experience, but to our universal humanity. I fall for her characters, whole-heartedly, while being covetous of her stunning prose." -- Julianna Baggott, author of the Pure trilogy "Exquisitely rendered . . . "The Distant Marvels" is a Thousand and One Nights-style surrender to the true art of story telling." " --"ANA CASTILLO, author of" The Guardians " ""The Distant Marvels" is a compelling, gorgeously-written epic about Cuban women as fierce as the storms and the hardships they endure. Every scene, every detail, every utterance and intimacy feels richly, enchantingly true." --CRISTINA GARCIA, author of "Dreaming in Cuban " "I loved "The Distant Marvels ." . . Acevedo's language is liquid and gathering, mirroring the great ebb and swell of political struggle, transcending love, as well as the events that have gathered the storyteller, MarIa Sirena, and her audience together under one brilliantly constructed 'roof.'" --RU FREEMAN, author of" On Sal Mal Lane" ""The Distant Marvels "is lush and captivating . . . The women in these pages survive to tell their tales, and oh, what wondrous stories they are." " --"MARIE MANILLA, author of "The Patron Saint of Ugly" "Chantel Acevedo brilliantly conveys the dual nature of the stories we tell ourselves, which achieve grace and transformation through tempestuous churning. ""The Distant Marvels," "like love itself," "is both storm and shelter at once." --JUSTIN TORRES, author of" We the Animals" "A haunting story...this multi-layered epic paints an intriguing picture of pre- and post-Castro Cuba and is a promising debut for Acevedo." --"Publishers Weekly" on "Love and Ghost Letters" ""Love and Ghost Letters" is enchanting; a heartfelt story...It captures, beautifully, the atmosphere and emotions of a time which, both Cuban Americans and many an American reader, will find both reminiscent and fulfilling. A great debut." --Oscar Hijuelos, author of "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," on "Love and Ghost Letters"

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