Appearing for the first time outside of Cuba, this bold collection of short stories provides an intimate and critical view of Afro-Cuba. Inés María Martiatu’s stories—presented in a unique "split" English/Spanish edition—span postcolonial Cuba of the early twentieth century, the First Republic, the “victorious revolution,” and contemporary life in the streets of Havana. Taking real risks as an Afro-Cubana, Martiatu confronts conflicts about identity, race, marginalization, and discrimination.
The history of the Caribbean, as part of the African diaspora, is reflected in the textures of life in Cuba, its music, rituals and myths, the Church and Santería, past and present. While race is unquestionably fundamental to the stories, they are at the same time rooted in the universality of the human experience. The vantage is that of an unflinching, yet compassionate observer of society—one who simultaneously turns an introspective mirror on the complicated layers of self.