Dancing to "Almendra"

A Novel

Mayra Montero; Translated by Edith Grossman


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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice


Havana, 1957.  On the same day that the Mafia capo Umberto Anastasia is assassinated in a barber's chair in New York, a hippopotamus escapes from the zoo and is shot and killed by its pursuers.  Assigned to cover the zoo story, Joaquin Porrata, a young Cuban journalist, finds himself embroiled in the mysterious connections between the hippo's death and the mafioso's in this intoxicating story of murder, mobsters, and, finally, love. 

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Praise for Dancing to "Almendra"

"I devoured it with absolute delight, and I'm looking forward to reading it again, and to reading anything Montero might come up with next."--The New York Times Book Review


"Montero exploits true crime, romance, family drama, cabaret, and even danzón. . . . Her new novel is a hell of a song."--San Francisco Chronicle


"[Montero] has crafted a story of pre-revolutionary Havana that crackles with violence, mystery, and a truly eccentric view of love.  Imagine Raymond Carver crossed with Oscar Hijuelos's The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love."--O, The Oprah Magazine


"An extremely stylish novel . . . Montero is an energetic writer and Grossman's translation renders her prose into a wry, bawdy, delicious rhythm. . . . Here is a story of [Montero's] native country, marching toward the future one murder, one one-night stand, one dead hippo at a time.  It's even more fun than it sounds."--The Star-Ledger (Newark)


"Montero has delivered a well-written, cinematic story that fairly steps off the page.  Think Chinatown set in the late 1950s, pre-Castro Cuba."--The Plain Dealer 


"Masterful . . . What a story!  Montero has played her usual sleight of hand."--Houston Chronicle

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Mayra Montero; Translated by Edith Grossman

Mayra Montero is the author of a collection of short stories and of eight novels, including The Messenger, The Last Night I Spent with You, and Captain of the Sleepers.  She was born in Cuba and lives in Puerto Rico, where she writes a weekly column in El Nuevo Dia newspaper.

Mayra Montero


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Available Formats and Book Details

Dancing to "Almendra"
A Novel
Mayra Montero; Translated by Edith Grossman

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
December 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312426736
ISBN10: 0312426739
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages, Includes two black-and-white illustrations

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780374707668
ISBN10: 0374707669
272 pages, 1 Illustration

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