The Korticos are from a well-endowed pygmy tribe in West Africa; the Mandingas are descended from a tribe of tall Ghanaians. Both families have been brought to Cuba as slaves. Oscar Kortico and Jose Mandinga, inseparable friends, marry a pair of sisters, and in the tiny hamlet of Pig's Foot (Pata de Puerco), five generations of these families will live out their colorful lives through the tumultuous sweep of Cuban history. That history extends from slavery through the war of independence, exploitation, dictatorship, and compromised freedom, to the present day, when teenager Oscar Mandinga goes seeking the fabled village of his ancestors.
Carlos Acosta's first novel is a swiftly plotted island folktale with warmth, humor, magic, and a light allegorical touch. It's a history grounded in sights and smells and human foibles. And it's an enchanting and unexpected debut from an author of many talents.
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