Marcial Gala presents "Call Me Cassandra," with Anna Kushner & Anderson Tepper

January 11, 2022, 7:30 PM

Marcial Gala joins us for a Spanish/English bilingual event to celebrate the launch of his new novel Call Me Cassandra, in conversation with translator Anna Kushner & Anderson Tepper. This program will take place on Zoom. Register here:

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Ten-year-old Rauli lives in a world that is often hostile. His older brother is violent; his philandering father doesn’t understand him; his intelligence and sensitivity do not endear him to the other children at school. He loves to read, especially Greek myths, but in Cuba in the 1970s, novels and gods can be dangerous. Despite the signs that warn Rauli to repress and fear what he is, he knows three things to be true: First, that he was born in the wrong body. Second, that he will die, aged eighteen, as a soldier in the Cuban intervention in Angola. And third, that he is the reincarnation of the Trojan princess Cassandra.

Moving between Rauli’s childhood and adolescence, between the Angolan battlefield, the Cuban city of Cienfuegos, and the shores of ancient Troy, Marcial Gala’s Call Me Cassandra tells of the search for identity amid the collapse of Cuba’s utopian dreams. Burdened with knowledge of tragedies yet to come, Rauli nonetheless strives to know himself. Lyrical and gritty, heartbreaking and luminous, Rauli’s is the story of the inexorable pull of destiny.

Marcial Gala is a novelist, a poet, and an architect from Cuba. He won the Pinos Nuevos Prize for best short story in 1999. The Black Cathedral received the Critics' Award and the Alejo Carpentier Award in 2012 and was published in English by FSG in 2020. Gala also won the 2018 Ñ Prize of the City of Buenos Aires-Clarín for Call Me Cassandra. He lives in Buenos Aires and Cienfuegos. (Photo credit: Ricardo Bacallao)

The daughter of Cuban exiles, Anna Kushner was born in Philadelphia and has been traveling to Cuba since 1999. In addition to The Black Cathedral and Call Me Cassandra, she has translated the novels of Norberto Fuentes, Leonardo Padura, Guillermo Rosales, and Gonçalo M. Tavares, as well as two collections of nonfiction by Mario Vargas Llosa. (Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan)

Anderson Tepper is co-chair of the International Committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival and host of a global author series with BPL Presents at Brooklyn Public Library. He has written for The New York Times Book ReviewVanity Fair, and World Literature Today, among other publications.