People used to call Jaime Sarusky “El Tigre” both for his nose for a good story and not to release it till he was able to give every single detail since he was, above all a seducer, or at least had a reputation as such. His colleague and friend of the years, Pedro de la Hoz, tells us that there was some mysterious aura around his love life, fueled by his jovial being and charisma.
Well, early this morning the Tiger took his last breath: apparently died of natural causes, since no one has said otherwise. Of Jewish descent, Sarusky will be buried in the Hebrew Cemetery in Guanabacoa .
Thus died a “writer formidable”, as Marta Rojas, his companion of time first in Revolution and later Granma newspaper summarized him, of which Sarusky was founder and first head of the culture department. “He was very cultivated but humble, investigated with great eagerness. One of his latest obsessions were the invented names that proliferated in Cuba in recent years. He was a lover of baseball, and seeing the name of the players he came to investigate them and found some hilarious creations “.
Rojas, recognized as the reporter for the assault on the Moncada in 1953 and pioneer of Cuban correspondents in Vietnam, remembers that Sarusky parents wanted to continue the family tradition of traders, but Jaime quit a thriving business to pursue his true passion, social science and journalism.
In this regard, the poet Marilyn Bobes defined him as “a thoroughbred journalist, someone essential to Cuban culture, since his work inquired as few in the roots of immigration to Cuba”. The two-time winner of the Casa de las Americas Sarusky told OnCuba that he took to his novels the essence of Cuba, “because every human event interested me”.
Of his authorship is the most comprehensive report on the ICAIC Sound Experimentation Group and research on Swedish and American settlements in Cuba, and some solid interviews with popular music personalities such as Adalberto Alvarez and José Luis Cortés, “El Tosco “. According to De la Hoz, death prevented Sarusky from materializing one of his pet projects, a book on the Cuban artist Juana Bacallao, a character that fascinated him.
Easy conversationalist, who knew how to listen and never bored anyone with his stories, Sarusky won the National Literature Prize in 2004, and seven years later the XX International Book Fair of Havana was dedicated to him, with the corresponding string of tributes which, including the least superstitious, found it ominous.