Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice....more
Posts Tagged: Cuba
The original Buena Vista Social Club was a members-only group that formed in Havana, Cuba, during the first half of the 20th century. The club became a cultural nexus for the city, drawing in musicians and artists who would perform at its events....more
I want readers to understand how racism and antiracism can exist at the same time even in a revolutionary setting.
Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution by author and professor Devyn Benson is the long-untold history of racism against Black Cubans....more
Papa: Hemingway in Cuba is a recently released film from director Bob Yari following the maybe-true misadventures of the late Hemingway and his years in Cuba, where he lived, drank, and complained after winning the Nobel Prize for fiction. A young author travels to Havana to learn from his literary idol and a tortured bro-mance blossoms with the Cuban revolution stirring in the background....more
Publishers want access to Cuba. The longstanding trade embargo with Cuba includes books and educational materials, but publishers have been lobbying the White House to lift the embargo. The island nation has a literacy rate near 100%....more
Ernest Hemingway lived outside of Havana, Cuba for almost twenty years, and his former house there is a national museum. However, time (and the Caribbean humidity) have damaged many of the writer’s books and papers. Now, a Boston-based foundation is helping to conserve Papa’s property, with help from none other than former TV host Bob Vila....more
For Electric Literature, Ryan Britt interviews Cuban sci-fi novelist Yoss. Their discussion covers the influence of heavy metal on Yoss’s fiction, as well as how science fiction can work as “code” for contemporary social issues:
In Cuba, on the other hand, it is normal that if one deals directly with the most critical points of the “real world,” the official response will be, in fact, intolerant: If one does not draw an optimistic panorama, one will be accused of being a defeatist, of siding with the enemy, etc.
Fiction written under an authoritarian or totalitarian government often dares readers to view the work as a critique of that society.
In a review of two science fiction works by Cuban authors, Electric Literature takes a look at the surprising connection between oppressive political ideologies and fantastical worlds in fiction....more
I feel like if you look at the history of Cuba, it’s always been a tumultuous one, even going back to Columbus, right? It always seems to have been a place that is sort of struggling to gain its footing in the world.
For The New Republic, Ryan Kearney responds to those claiming that American tourism and investment will ruin Cuba’s romanticism:
If you visit Cuba to puff cigars, get drunk on rum-and-cokes or mojitos, read Hemingway, and fetishize the country’s dilapidation with your brand-new Canon Rebel, you just might miss [its] uglier side.
In a museum in Havana there are two skulls...more
To be a doctor in Cuba is to live inside the swirl of history and politics that whooshes around the small Communist island at all times....more
There are certain places in the world that conjure an almost universal sense of longing; places that seem to carry a palpable sense of themselves in the air, and places whose tumultuous histories have created masses of displaced persons who feel as though they might never go home again....more