Cover image for Los gusanos : a novel
Los gusanos : a novel
Sayles, John, 1950-
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First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, [1991]

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From filmmaker John Sayles (The Return of the Secaucus Seven, Matewan), a novel set in contemporary Miami that brings to life the heart and soul of the Cuban community. Filled with passion, violence, sex, and unforgettalbe characters, Los Gusanos is a rare combination of literary fiction and commercial storytelling with tremendous commercial appeal.

Author Notes

John Thomas Sayles is a novelist, screenwriter, director, and actor. He was born in Schenectady, New York, on September 28, 1950. He earned a B.S. in psychology from Williams College in 1972.

After graduating, Sayles earned a living as an orderly, a laborer, and a meat packer. Two novels and a collection of short stories were published in the 1970s. Sayles also wrote screenplays for B-movie king Roger Corman, contributing to such films as Piranha and Battle Beyond the Stars. In 1980 he wrote, directed, and acted in the film Return of the Secaucus Seven, which won the Best Screenplay award from the Los Angeles Film Critics and was nominated for an Academy Award.

In 1983, Sayles received a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant," which provided him with $30,000 per year for five years. His work during this period included the films Baby it's You, Brother From Another Planet, and Matewan. Sayles also directed the Bruce Springsteen music videos, "Born in the U.S.A.," "I'm on Fire," and "Glory Days." He also created a television series in 1989 called Shannon's Deal.

Sayles has received an O. Henry Award, a best director award from the Seattle Film Festival, a Taskforce Award, and Academy Award nominations for the screenplays for Passion Fish and Lone Star. He also wrote the screenplay for, directed, and performed in the critically acclaimed film, Eight Men Out.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Novelist turned filmmaker Sayles returns to print with an ambitious story--a BOMC selection in cloth--of Cuban exiles in the United States over the decades since Castro. Impressive psychological details and a generous spirit compensate for structural flaws. $30,000 ad/promo. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In the early 1980s, Marta de la Pena, a beautiful, otherworldly Cuban exile living in Miami, dreams of avenging the death of her brother Ambrosio, who was killed in the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion 20 years earlier. Spurned by the mainstream anti-Castro groups in town, Marta sets out to assemble her own guerrilla strike force from Miami's large population of gun-toting idealists, madmen, and soldiers of fortune. Sayles, a noted film director ( Eight Men Out ) as well as a critically acclaimed novelist ( Union Dues , LJ 9/1/77), brings a cinematic eye to historical fiction. Focusing on the vicissitudes of Marta's extended family in both Havana and Miami, he reviews 50 years of Cuban-American relations. An exciting, instructive, and highly readable novel. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/91.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.