By: Ernesto Mestre-Reed
Set in Cuba in 1998, Sacrificio is a triumphant and mesmeric work of violence, loss, and identity, following a group of young HIV-positive counterrevolutionaries who seek to overthrow the Castro government.
Cuba, 1998: Rafa, an Afro-Cuban orphan, moves to Havana with nothing to his name and falls into a job at a café. He is soon drawn into a web of ever-shifting entanglements with his boss’s son, the charismatic Renato, leader of the counterrevolutionary group “Los Injected Ones,” which is planning a violent overthrow of the Castro government during Pope John Paul II’s upcoming visit.
When Renato goes missing, Rafa’s search for his friend takes him through various haunts in Havana: from an AIDS sanatorium, to the guest rooms of tourist hotels, to the outskirts of the capital, where he enters a phantasmagorical slum cobbled together from the city’s detritus by Los Injected Ones.
A novel of cascading prose that captures a nation in slow collapse, Sacrificio is a visionary work, capturing the fury, passion, fatalism, and grim humor of young lives lived at the margins of a society they desperately wish to change.
Story Locale:Havana, Cuba