Pilar, the narrator in Cristina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuban (published and nominated for the National Book Award in 1992) is talking about the magical connection she feels with Cuba, her ancestral home (and current home of her Grandmother, Abuela Celia):
“I’ve started dreaming in Spanish, which has never happened before. I wake up feeling different, like something inside me is changing, something chemical and irreversible. There’s a magic here working its way through my veins. There’s something about the vegetation, too, that I respond to instinctively - the stunning bougainvillea, the flamboyants and jacarandas, the orchids growing from the trunks of the mysterious ceiba trees. And I love Havana, its noise and decay and painted ladyness. I could happily sit on one of those wrought-iron balconies for days, or keep my grandmother company on her porch, with its ringside view of the sea. I’m afraid to lose all this, to lose Abuela Celia again. But sooner or later I’d have to return to New York. I know now it’s where I belong - not instead of here, but more than here. How can I tell my grandmother this?”
I have referenced below an interesting essay on the subject of nostalgia in Dreaming in Cuban.
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