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First published in Cuba in 1966, Paradiso was hailed as a masterpiece of contemporary literature. It has gained the international reputation of a modern classic and was received with unqualified enthusiasm when it was published in France and Italy. Jose Cemi, the hero of Paradiso, begins life at the turn of the century in Cuba. As an adolescent, Cemi discovers his soulmates, the intellectuals Fronesis and Focion, and it is the triangle of their relationship which provides the impetus for much of the novel. Each of Cemi's experiences in his search for his dead father and for the understanding of love and the powers of the mind has a tropical intensity that gives it long life in the reader's memory.