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"His literary ancestors are the fabulous Latins with their reverence for myth and for memory, their penchant for surrealism: Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Isabel Allende . . . When Carrillo constructs a Cuba that exists only in words, he and his fictive island coexist in what Henry James called 'a rare state of the imagination.' For a young novelist, that's a pretty good place to be."

Washington Post Book World


Loosing My Espanish is a novel that exists in a realm where beauty and memory and longing are one. Mr. Carrillo's talents are formidable, his lyricism pitch-perfect and his compassion limitless.”

—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao


"In this superbly crafted work, Carrillo appeals to our emotions and our intelligence. . . The novel calls you in, 'Ven, ven, ven aqui, come, come, come here,' and keeps you riveted.

Black Issues Book Review


“Did you know that language can be read and heard and seen and touched? That you can smell it, taste it? Try Loosing My Espanish.”

—Eduardo Galeano, author of Children of the Days


"A linguistic wizard, Carrillo creates . . . a syncopated, jazzy rhythm . . . its sentences twist and turn, first embracing then rejecting pure, uncontaminated English and Spanish . . . It is written with a level of style that shines. . . endearing."

Los Angeles Times


"What is a historical fact if not a personal history, a country's history, a political history? In his stunning first novel, H. G. Carrillo delivers a narrator who erupts and disrupts the pavements of the Cuban-American experience by showing us that the most accurate, if not truthful, fact comes from the memory of the impassioned heart. The rhythmic beauty of Carrillo's commanding storytelling leaves you with the urgency of trying to catch your breath. I can't imagine another American history course being taught without Loosing My Espanish as required reading."

—Helena María Viramontes, author of Their Dogs Came with Them


"Joyous . . . Carrillo blends vibrant language, vivid imagery and complex personalities into a bilingual stream-of-consciousness narrative that weaves its way through time, space, and the Cuban diaspora . . . You will be enchanted."



"In Loosing My Espanish, paradoxically, the great winner is Spanish, not only for the way in which the text is subverted by that language, but also for the splendid way in which it has given blood, spirit and conviction to a moving novel that breathes Cuba in a major key."

—Mayra Montero, author of Dancing to Almendra


"This impressive first novel is a gritty yet lyrically evocative book of memory, a heartrending attempt to recapture a world about to disappear into the mists of time."

—Library Journal


“H. G. Carrillo's remarkable prose captures memory, loss and desire like a net made of language. In its trappings we find all sorts of gifts, from history to puns to love songs. Loosing My Espanish is enchantingly brilliant."

—Ernesto Quiñonez, author of Bodega Dreams


"Loosing My Espanish begs comparisons to James Joyce's Ulysses or Gabriel García Márquez's Cien años de soledad . . . [it] takes linguistic and imaginative risks seldom seen in contemporary letters. A gem of a book."

El Paso Times


"This novel contains many poignant moments. It will be of interest to everyone who has inherited a history and a language they could not fully connect with but still tried to preserve."

—Miami Herald