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BookBrowse Reviews The Black Cathedral by Marcial Gala

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The Black Cathedral

by Marcial Gala

The Black Cathedral by Marcial  Gala X
The Black Cathedral by Marcial  Gala
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  • Published:
    Jan 2020, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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A multi-voice work that explores questions of fate and responsibility, Cuban author Marcial Gala's The Black Cathedral is an ingenious construction of varying perspectives.

Marcial Gala's The Black Cathedral, translated from the Spanish by Anna Kushner, is narrated through many first-person accounts of people living in or otherwise connected to Punta Gotica, an impoverished neighborhood in the Cuban city of Cienfuegos. These accounts—at times contradictory, at times likely embellished—are all tied to the building of a cathedral for the Church of the Holy Sacrament, a branch of Christianity brought to the neighborhood by newcomer Arturo Stuart. As the story proceeds, the construction of the cathedral takes on a life of its own, growing larger than initially intended and igniting wild dreams and ambitions in those involved in its planning. Rogelio Roca Cueva, the architect for the project, describes the scope of his intentions:

"Ornament is crime," a great architect said, and that was my premise, I wanted the building to be perfect in its ...

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