Ballet News Reviews | Carlos Acosta – Pig’s Foot
Carlos Acosta’s autobiography, Now Way Home : A Cuban Dancer’s Story, sold around 6,500 copies in hardback.
Acosta’s debut novel, Pig’s Foot, has been picked as one of the most important literary debuts of the year by Waterstones. For the third year running, Waterstones’ “debut literary stars of 2013” includes Pig’s Foot and they anticipate that it will go on to win prizes.
In a recent BBC News feature, Acosta said that he had no books growing up at home in Cuba, and that his creative forays beyond classical ballet (which includes choreographing a new production of Don Quixote for The Royal Ballet, where he is Guest Principal) is “just me running to catch up.”
Pig’s Foot is a disappointment. Yes, it’s descriptively written, and certainly vivid in its telling, but these are not the images I want to conjour up. I found it coarse and unsatisfying to read.
Pig’s Foot tells the story of Oscar Kortico who is the sole descendant of his family line. He sets off to find the lost village of Pata de Puerco and the meaning of the magical pig’s-foot amulet he has inherited. The story, and the history of Cuba is told through Oscar’s eyes, through the wars of independence, to Bacardi rum, dictatorship, revolution and, finally, to a freedom of sorts.
One wonders at the cultural references Acosta has chosen to immerse himself in, if Pig’s Foot is the result of those endeavours. Acosta writes in Spanish and this book has been translated by Frank Wynne.
You can read an extract from Pig’s Foot