ABOUT THIS BOOK
With Gay Cuban Nation, Emilio Bejel looks at Cuba's markedly homoerotic culture through writings about homosexuality, placing them in the social and political contexts that led up to the Cuban Revolution. By reading against the grain of a wide variety of novels, short stories, autobiographies, newspaper articles, and films, Bejel maps out a fascinating argument about the way in which different attitudes toward power and nationalism struggle for an authoritative stance on homosexual issues. Through close readings of writers such as José Martí, Alfonso Hernández-Catá, Carlos Montenegro, José Lezama Lima, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, and Reinaldo Arenas, whose heartbreaking autobiography, Before Night Falls, has enjoyed renewed popularity, Gay Cuban Nation shows that the category of homosexuality is always lurking, ghostlike, in the shadows of nationalist discourse. The book stakes out Cuba's sexual battlefield, and will challenge the homophobia of both Castro's revolutionaries and Cuban exiles in the States.