... dazzling ... Deftly pushing the boundaries of both realism and first-person perspective, Gala makes it impossible for the reader to determine if Raúl/Cassandra is actually supernatural or if the character’s visions are a Mittyish reaction to the many humiliations and brutalities that he/she must endure ... Gala constructs sentences and scenes that swing easily from the mythological to the mundane, and Anna Kushner’s translation does a wonderful job of capturing his tones — and his temporal shifts.
... a strange, dazzling novel that is as difficult to categorize as its protagonist ... Kushner preserves Gala’s lyricism and playfulness ... At times, it can be a dizzying read. Gala alternates between past, present and future tenses, and neither timeline—fighting in Angola or Rauli’s adolescence in Cienfuegos—is told sequentially, mimicking Rauli’s sense of time’s fluidity. Not much happens in terms of plot, and the poet Gala often leans into repetition. We are told the same things many times and sometimes in similar ways, which some might find frustrating. But for patient readers invested in language, Call Me Cassandra is both a thought-provoking meditation on myths and its own venture into mythmaking.
The appearance of mythical beings during opportune times, Raúl’s pitiless predictions, and the unfolding events of a fraught time in Cuban history contribute to the power of Gala’s creative spin on an indelible myth and imaginative, memorable, and heartbreaking tale of identity and fatalism.
... lyrical and elegiac ... It’s a fascinating premise, but not a whole lot happens. Still, Gala’s prose, elegantly translated by Kushner, perfectly conveys the protagonist’s dual realities. In the end, the author offers a singular invocation of immortality.