Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin
A Novel (Godwin, Gail (Spoken Word))

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Here at last is the eagerly awaited new novel from New York Times bestselling author Gail Godwin. Queen of the Underworld is sweeping and sultry literary fiction, featuring a memorable young heroine and engaging characters whose intimate dramas interconnect with hers.
In the summer of 1959, as Castro clamps down on Cuba and its first wave of exiles flees to the States to wait out what they hope to be his short-lived reign, Emma Gant, fresh out of college, begins her career as a reporter. Her fierce ambition and belief in herself are set against the stories swirling around her, both at the newspaper office and in her downtown Miami hotel, which is filling up with refugees.
Emma’s avid curiosity about life thrives amid the tropical charms and intrigues of Miami. While toiling at the news desk, she plans the fictional stories she will write in her spare time. She spends her nights getting to know the Cuban families in her hotel–and rendezvousing with her married lover, Paul Nightingale, owner of a private Miami Beach club.
As Emma experiences the historical events enveloping the city, she trains her perceptive eye on the people surrounding her: a newfound Cuban friend who joins the covert anti-Castro training brigade, a gambling racketeer who poses a grave threat to Paul, and a former madam, still in her twenties, who becomes both Emma’s obsession and her alter ego. Emma’s life, like a complicated dance that keeps sweeping her off her balance, is suddenly filled with divided loyalties, shady dealings, romantic and professional setbacks, and, throughout, her adamant determination to avoid “usurpation” by others and remain the protagonist of her own quest.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Gail Godwin

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Gail Godwin, three-time National Book Award finalist, is the bestselling author of twelve critically acclaimed novels, including A Mother and Two Daughters, The Good Husband, Father Melancholy's Daughter, and Evensong. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer, her journal in two volumes (ed. Rob Neufeld). She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Woodstock, New York. Visit her website at www.gailgodwin.com.
Published January 10, 2006 by Random House. 368 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Queen of the Underworld

BC Books

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Godwin excels at bringing these characters to vivid life, while introducing her protagonist and her readers to the joys of medianoche sandwiches, a mild flirtation between Emma and Alex, the young manager of the Julia Tuttle, and to Miami in the sweltering heat of summer - complete with rainstorm...

Jun 28 2007 | Read Full Review of Queen of the Underworld: A No...


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The novel takes place in Miami just after the start of the Cuban Revolution and follows a fledgling reporter as she befriends a colorful cast of Cuban exiles.

Jan 30 2006 | Read Full Review of Queen of the Underworld: A No...

Book Reporter

As in real life, characters refuse to be pigeonholed: Alex's relationship to Emma is never quite defined and Paul's wife is Emma's friend.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Queen of the Underworld: A No...

USA Today

Her many excellent novels include the best-selling A Mother and Two Daughters, Father Melancholy's Daughter and Evensong.Godwin's new novel, Queen of the Underworld, set in Miami circa 1959, captures a city dramatically changing as upper-class Cuban exiles fleeing Fidel Castro are flooding in.But...

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Emma Gant has recently graduated from college and is ready to begin a new career as a reporter for the Miami Star.

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