Sunday, February 16, 2014

It Happened in Historic Cuba: Fidel Fiction

It was 55 years ago today that Fidel Castro became dictator of Cuba. Here are a few examples of the many novels inspired by those tumultuous times.

Telex from Cuba : a novel  (M)
 by Rachel Kushner"This stunning debut novel tells a truly inspired and unforgettable tale of two young children, Everly and K.C., who live and work on a sugar farm in Cuba during an uprising led by the Castro brothers. Filled with rich imagery, loathsome characters and unyielding passion, Kushner's plot and prose are refreshing and original. Lloyd James's spirited reading captures every aspect of Kushner's story; he can easily tug at listeners' heartstrings and guide them on a remarkable journey. James reads with wisdom and confidence, never second-guessing his delivery or interpretation of the work" - Publisher Weekly

Chango's Beads and Two-tone Shoes (M)
by William Kennedy"When journalist Daniel Quinn meets Ernest Hemingway at the Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba, in 1957, he has no idea that his own affinity for simple, declarative sentences will change his life radically overnight. So begins William Kennedy's latest novel-a tale of revolutionary intrigue, heroic journalism, crooked politicians, drug-running gangsters, Albany race riots, and the improbable rise of Fidel Castro. Quinn's epic journey carries him through the nightclubs and jungles of Cuba and into the newsrooms and racially charged streets of Albany on the day Robert Kennedy is fatally shot in 1968. The odyssey brings Quinn, and his exotic but unpredictable Cuban wife, Renata, a debutante revolutionary, face-to-face with the darkest facets of human nature and illuminates the power of love in the presence of death... " - publisher

Havana (M)
by Stephen Hunter"High summer in Cuba, 1953, and Havana gleams with possibility. Flush with booming casinos, sex and drugs, Havana is a lucrative paradise for everyone from the Mafia, Domino Sugar, and United Fruit to pimps, porn-makers, and anyone looking to grab a piece of the action - including the Cuban government, which naturally honors the interests of its old ally, Uncle Sam. Of course, where there's paradise, trouble can't be far behind. Trouble, in this case, makes its entrance in the terrifically charismatic and silver-tongued form of a young revolutionary named Fidel Castro." -publisher

Spy in a Little Black Dress (M) Maxine Kenneth

"Sent undercover into Cuba, Jackie Bouvier investigates a young revolutionary named Fidel Castro, spends time dodging East Germany's secret police, dances with Frank Sinatra, and meets a congressman named John F. Kennedy." - publisher

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