Fiction Introduction by Timothy Brennan A swashbuckling tale set in the the Caribbean world at the time of the French revolution, Explosion in a Cathedral focuses on Victor Hugues, a historical figure who led the naval assault to take back the island of Guadeloupe from the English at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In Carpentier's telling, this piratical figure walks into the lives of the wealthy orphans Esteban and Sofia and casts them abruptly into the midst of the immense changes sweeping the world outside their Havana mansion. "Built around the exciting and timely theme of revolutionary-turned-tyrant, . . . Explosion in a Cathedral is a tour de force." New York Times Book Review "Woven into the story is a complete history and geography of the Caribbean." Times Literary Supplement Perhaps Cuba's most important intellectual figure of the twentieth century, Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980) was a novelist, a classically trained pianist and musicologist, a producer of avant-garde radio programming, and an influential theorist of politics and literature. Best known for his novels, Carpentier also collaborated with such luminaries as Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Georges Bataille, and Antonin Artaud. Born in Havana, he lived for many years in France and Venezuela but returned to Cuba after the 1959 revolution.