A classic of modern literature, Paradiso was first published in Cuba in 1966. Written by Cuba's most important poet, it tells the story of Jose Cemi, who, in the wake of his father's death, comes of age in turn-of-the-century Cuba. Weaving the exhilarations and defeats of love into extraordinarily erotic verbal tapestries, Lezama Lima narrates Cemi's search for his dead father and for an understanding of love and the powers of the mind.
... Paradiso has the 'leaps of imagination' which have come to associated with the best contemporary Spanish literature. -- Jack Friedman, Village Voice [An] extraordinary novel... written by Cuba's leading poet... There is scarcely a line in the entire narrative that could be mistaken for anyone else's writing... Lezama's language is reckless, voluptuous, sly and unrelentingly sexual... A masterpiece of the modern Spanish Baroque... Lezama has the power not only to create absorbing and memorable images; he has also placed these images in into a vast network of philosophical and mythical significance... For me, the proof of the greatness of Paradiso is that for the last two weeks I've been walking around New York seeing things through Lezama's eyes. -- Edmund White, New York Times