With the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Cuba’s political future, the onslaught of tourists, and the economic upheavals in their society, Cubans face an important, perhaps epochal, moment of cultural change. It is a moment amply and complexly reflected in the fiction collected here, twelve short stories written in Cuba during the past ten years and published in English for the first time with the collaboration of some of today’s finest translators.
An eclectic selection, the stories offer an exhilarating sense of a rich literary diversity and cultural history, an experience of Cuban literature that has rarely been available to an English audience. They differ widely, even wildly, in style and theme: from an impromptu encounter with Ernest Hemingway to an imagined romance mapped onto Cuba’s foundational nineteenth-century novel; from a witty, Borgesian satire on bureaucracy and officialist identity to a gothic adventure in homosexual voyeurism and mental illness; from an allegorical travelogue set in repressive China to a semi-surreal celebration of angels in Havana. These are the voices of Cuban fiction today, reflecting the past, anticipating the future, and composing in their infinite variety the stories of their culture.