WHAT IS IT: The “Miami Creation Myth” is a fictional and over-the-top tale of how Miami and the greater SoFla area, came to be The novel is the brainchild of Andrew Otazo, who wrote under the pen name Bobby D. Foster, and sort of mirrors the creation story from the Bible while also taking influences from Greek mythology and Andrew’s experiences growing up Cuban American in the 305.
“The Miami Creation Myth is a love letter to the city of my birth, the only place I’ve ever felt I did not need to explain myself to anyone,” Andrew says. “As such, it is primarily written for Miamians.”
HOW IT CAME TO BE: Andrew said while he recognizes Miami’s faults, he was inspired to reframe the narrative and celebrate the city.
“I was, and I’m sure many others are, tired of modern-day cultural Columbuses parachuting into the city, spending a weekend on South Beach, and then proclaiming Miami’s superficiality to the rest of the world,” Andrew says.
And so he decided to use humor, satire, and a little absurdity, to talk about what makes the city so special and to also point out where it can improve.
“Once I gain [the reader’s] trust, I then begin to tackle more weighty issues in the subsequent chapters such as gentrification, cultural myopia, privilege, race relations, and historical memory,” Andrew says. “I try not to be preachy, so I still intersperse these topics with humor, but that, I believe, is the real meat of the book.”
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT: The “Miami Creation Myth” is filled with laughs and vivid visuals that will pop into your head. One example: Pachango, the main creator god in this story, has three children named Yamilet, Marisleisis, and Yusiel and they create many of the creatures we know, love, and sometimes hate like: gators, massive birds that populate the Everglades, and mosquitos.
When the three children’s creations fight, a chancleta-wielding god named Caridad (who’s Pachango’s more powerful mother) intervenes by striking them all with one of her sandals.
And that’s just in the first chapter.
HOW TO CHECK IT OUT: Andrew and his team are working on publishing the book, but you can read the first chapter here. He’s also written a collection of suuuper Miami short stories called “Chongas, Chancletas, and Chismé, Oh My!” that you can download here.
And if you’re looking to see the myth on stage, watch the play based on the first chapter at the Villain Theater Saturday, July 27. Head here for tickets.