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An Address in Havana/Domicilio habanero

Selected Short Stories

by María Elena Llana, translated by Barbara Riess

“Solitary characters, afflicted by real or fictitious fears… a world plagued with absurdities… exceptional stories, told through an ironic perspective with humor and cruelty. Llana stories are a mixture of fantasy, dark humor, and gothic comedy. Her short stories contain a rich and thoroughly entertaining representation of a particular social class in Cuba during the last forty years: the bourgeoisie who struggled to maintain their social status and participated only by default in the construction of the new socialist society. Portraits of family and twisted gender roles abound, within a mysterious and uncanny domestic sphere that is unmistakably set in Havana.” Llana stories are a mixture of fantasy, dark humor, and gothic comedy. Her stories humorously represent a vision of the world through a palpable irony leading up to a subversive guffaw that, because of her scathing wit, may also be read as an anguished holler. This quality is at the heart of Llana’s stories teeming with specters of every type, dramatic or ridiculous, but always efficiently suggestive of circumstances underlying what we take for reality. Her short stories contain a rich and thoroughly entertaining representation of a particular social class in Cuba during the last forty years: the bourgeoisie who struggled to maintain their social status and participated only by default in the construction of the new socialist society. Portraits of family and twisted gender roles abound, within a mysterious and uncanny domestic sphere that is unmistakably set in Havana.

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Always Rebellious/Cimarroneando

Selected Poems by Georgina Herrera

by Georgina Herrera, translation coordinated and introduction by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook

This bilingual volume of poetry (with DVD) introduces the unique voice of Cuban writer Georgina Herrera, whose poetry is inspired by her African heritage. Eliseo Diego calls Herrera's work poetry of origin, pain, heartbreak, and consolation. Herrera manages to transform her pain into central aesthetic components of her work, which point to a legacy of sorrow and sacrifice. Though she indeed has suffered, Georgina Herrera possesses courage, energy, and a penetrating intelligence accompanied by a profound sense of dignity and an age-old wisdom that enable her to "take to the hills" in order to go on and tell us the truths of her cultural memory, of her soul, and of her vast experience accumulated over 80 years full of anxiety, exclusion, violence, and discrimination. At the end, her self-definition is of dignity and empowerment, challenging the representation imposed upon black women.

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The Bleeding Wound/Sangra por la herida

by Mirta Yáñez, translated by Sara E. Cooper

Tones of disillusionment and wistful longing permeate the bilingual edition of this novel about the passage of time, the city of Havana, and death. Within its complex structure, a concert of diverse voices narrates the compelling sagas of a generation of Cubans who embraced the 1959 socialist revolution in their adolescence, as well as the young who inherited its boons and its banes. The novel is a palimpsest: layers of personal narratives overlay the story of the city of Havana. Readers will delve into the complicated actuality of Cuba as it is today, an island nation cherished by its inhabitants despite the harsh quotidian existence that it offers. The wound is bleeding, Havana is dying, and readers will want to know the answer to the questions posed in Yáñez's novel, questions as universal as they are intrinsically Cuban: Who are we? Why are we here? And what will become of us?

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Disconnect/Desencuentro

by Nancy Alonso, translated by Anne Fountain

A bilingual edition of short fiction, Disconnect/Desencuentro explores sexuality, morality, and coincidence in present day Cuba. Irony and subtle humor permeate these stories , each with an internal disconnect of one type or another, prompting us to laugh at the inherent contradictions of life itself. Consistently characteristic of Alonso's fiction is her creation of everyday scenes and dialogues that are universally understood yet deeply rooted in Cuban reality—and Ethiopia, where Alonso was stationed. She is a masterful observer of human foibles, revealing missteps and hypocrisy with a sure touch and letting her readers discover the many ways that people connect and disconnect with the world around them.

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Havana Is a Really Big City

And Other Short Stories

by Mirta Yáñez; edited by Sara E. Cooper; translations by Sara E. Cooper, Victoria McCard, Lizbeth Paravisini-Gebert, Claudette Williams, & Leslie Bary

This volume presents stories gathered from three decades of prize-winning writing by Havana-born Mirta Yañez. The collection has a complex yet unmistakable Cuban flavor and a characteristic preoccupation with the social, political, and economic particularities of the island and how these affect los cubanos. Catherine Davies notes that "Yañez writes about everyday life in Havana; her chatty, colloquial style full of light-hearted humour, whatever the theme, makes her fiction a delight to read". Themes of class, race, gender, and sexuality are artfully interwoven in humorous and poignant narratives that make the reader pause to rethink her/his views or assumptions about Cuba and about life. This groundbreaking collection of her work, most of which is available for the first time in English translation, includes La habana es una ciudad bien grande in its entirety as well as other selected stories.

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Homing Instincts/Querencias

by Nancy Morejón, translated by Pamela Carmell

A collection of poetry by the world famous Afro-Cuban belle des letres Nancy Morejón. According to Alice Walker, “Morejon’s poems remind us that all worlds are complex, complicated, dense.  Sometimes it is only the poet’s breath that holds together the disparities, some of them achingly diverse.” The power of her lyrical voice mesmerizes. Most of these poems have never before appeared in English, and Pamela Carmell’s delicate touch does tribute to their depth and intricacy. The theme of the collection is love, in all its forms--from romantic love, to familial affection, to patriotic fervor. Known as a feminist and a powerfully political player of the Cuban Revolution, Morejón reveals a different side of herself in this bilingual volume. Experience depths of passion and pride as experienced and represented by one of the most uniquely talented poets of our time.

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The Memory of Silence/Memoria del silencio

by Uva de Aragón, translated by Jeffrey C. Barnett

A metaphor of a nation and its Diaspora, this bilingual edition of The Memory of Silence/Memoria del silencio transcends the Cuban reality and becomes a story of universal breadth, a triumph of love and family over distance and politics. In 1959, at the age of 18, the twin sisters Lauri and Menchu share a common past, but their lives abruptly take on seemingly irreconcilable differences as Lauri leaves with her groom for Miami and Menchu remains in Havana. The text, then, becomes a series of interpolated chronicles, as each alternating chapter recounts one sister's life and then the other until finally in the present, now reunited, the sisters must confront the pain of the past and as well as the promise of the future. The novel’s theme of reconciliation presents a refreshing message, and a timely one.

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Ophelias/Ofelias

by Aida Bahr, translated by Dick Cluster

The crisp tension in this daring collection of short stories —with both the original Spanish and flawless English renditions— reveals a darker side of Cuban reality. One woman wakes up to find an unknown man fast asleep by her side. Another has misplaced her child, and doesn’t know what to tell the police. A third has killed her racist and controlling father -- or hasn’t she, after all? A teenager at the beach -- going, going, gone; a preteen suddenly abandoned with an unknown great-grandmother on the edge of nowhere; a professor who sees “the eye of the tiger” wherever she looks; a married woman who sees someone else in the mirror, someone playing an entirely different game. Ophelias is about women pushed to the edge of madness. These eight stories could happen anywhere -- and they could happen only in Cuba.

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