Books: Cubatown, U.S.A.

A WAKE IN YBOR CITY by Jose Yglesias. 284 pages. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. $4.95.

Ybor City is old Cubatown in Tampa, Fla., where Cuban cigarmakers and their families have lived for generations. In this first novel, Florida-born Jose Yglesias, 43, paints a low-key Street Scene that is more fit for play-acting than reading, but his descriptions of Cuban-American family life in 1958 contain much that is touching.

Yglesias' family is almost Dostoevskian in size and complexity. Its three generations stem from three aged sisters—Dolores, Clemencia and Mina. Among the younger men, Armando...

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