NOVEL APPROACH: Miami heat
By Kacy Muir, Weekender Correspondent
The idea of identity is an alarming one to Magdalena. When told to dress and act as a Cuban woman, she hesitates. “You’ll make your entrance a la moda cubana. You won’t have to act… like anything! You’ll be the most comfortable, most confident person in the house!” She follows through in the act, but the words mean nothing. She remains uncomfortable in her skin.
As the novel develops, it features profound topics of cultural integration and disintegration. The title of the work then becomes connected to crime and identity – the difference between the blood on our hands and the blood in our veins.
Readers are also introduced to Magdalena’s new boyfriend, Norman, a psychiatrist. We soon realize that he may be more mentally unstable than his patients. Of course, Nestor, Magdalena, and Norman are only a few of the critical players. While Nestor leads much of the narration, Wolfe has created a diverse cast of characters that are connected in themes of crime and identity. The book is composed of subplots, which, though taxing at times, are connected in a grand way.
Overall, Wolfe has a unique voice that carries the same control no matter the writing, demonstrating that a particular genre cannot restrain him. At 81-years-old, it does not look like he has any plans to stop. While not all readers will enjoy Wolfe’s propensity to be outlandish, there is no denying that his youthful wit and insight remain resolute.