WE CAME ALL THE WAY FROM CUBA SO YOU COULD DRESS LIKE THIS STORIES
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Achy Obejas writes stories about uprooted people. Some, like herself, are Latino immigrants and lesbians; others are men (gay and straight), people with AIDS, addicts, people living marginally, just surviving. As omniscient narrator to her characters' lives, Obejas generously delves into her own memories of exile and alienation to tell stories about women and men who struggle for wholeness and love.
Drawing on her own memories of alienation and exile, a Cuban lesbian writer tells stories of men and women searching for love and fulfillment--Latino immigrants, lesbians, gay and straight men, people with AIDS, addicts, and many others. Simultaneous. Tour. IP.
"Questions of personal and national identity percolate through the stories in Obejas's memorable short fiction collection, most of which is set in Cuba, the author's birthplace...These 10 stories show Obejas's talent, illuminating Cuban culture and the innermost lives of her characters." --Publishers Weekly "By turns searing and subtly magical, the stories in Obejas' vividly imagined collection are propelled by her characters' contradictory feelings about and unnerving experiences in Cuba...For all the human tumult and deftly sketched and reverberating historical and cultural contexts that Obejas incisively creates in these poignant, alarming tales, she also offers lyrical musings on the mysteries of the sea and the vulnerability of islands and the body. Obejas' plots are ambushing, her characters startling, her metaphors fresh, her humor caustic, and her compassion potent in these intricate and haunting stories of displacement, loss, stoicism, and realization." --Booklist "Obejas's stories demonstrate an acute understanding of being caught between two places and cultures as different as America and Cuba." --Library Journal "Achy Obejas's collection is about fictional Cuban migrants who never quite escape the land they've left." --Electric Literature "It's a joy to return to Obejas's work; her prose, crisp, crystalline, and controlled, covering the wide spectrums of anger, desire, longing, and wonder in the face of immigration...Obejas sneaks under the skin, revealing emotions tied up at the dock, cuts the rope, and sets them free. The Tower of the Antilles proves, once again, why Achy Obejas is one of the most important Cuban writers of our time." --The Miami Rail "This summer is the perfect opportunity to get to know the work of this Cuban-American writer. The stories collected in her new book tell the story of various Cubas--Cuba throughout the ages, Cuba from different perspectives, but always Cuba in all its vibrant, troubled, conflicting beauty." --Barnes & Noble/B&N Reads, included in"12 Must-Read Indie Books Coming This Summer" Praise for Achy Obejas: "Obejas writes like an angel, which is to say: gloriously...one of Cuba's most important writers." --Junot Diaz The Cubans in Achy Obejas's story collection are haunted by islands: the island they fled, the island they've created, the island they were taken to or forced from, the island they long for, the island they return to, and the island that can never be home again. In "Superman," several possible story lines emerge about a 1950s Havana sex-show superstar who disappeared as soon as the revolution triumphed. "North/South" portrays a migrant family trying to cope with separation, lives on different hemispheres, and the eventual disintegration of blood ties. "The Cola of Oblivion" follows the path of a young woman who returns to Cuba, and who inadvertently uncorks a history of accommodation and betrayal among the family members who stayed behind during the revolution. In the title story, "The Tower of the Antilles," an interrogation reveals a series of fantasies about escape and a history of futility. With language that is both generous and sensual, Obejas writes about existences beset by events beyond individual control, and poignantly captures how history and fate intrude on even the most ordinary of lives.
Memory Mambo describes the life of Juani Casas, a 25-year-old Cuban-born American lesbian who manages her family's laundromat in Chicago while trying to cope with family, work, love, sex, and the weirdness of North American culture. Achy Obejas's writing is sharp and mordantly funny. She understands perfectly how the romance of exile—from a homeland as well as from heterosexuality—and the mundane reality of everyday life balance one another. Memory Mambo is ultimately very moving in its depiction of what it means to find a new and finally safe sense of home.
At last, the first collection of poems from the Pulitzer Prize and Lambda Literary Award winning Cuban-American author Achy Obejas. The poems in This Is What Happened In Our Other Life form a handbook of desire, navigating a course through the often-rocky landscapes of loving and living, while also charting the complexities of identity as the author explores her relationship to her lovers, her roots, her history, herself. As in her novels, Obejos' poems are often concerned with memory - the physical memories of the body, the ache of wanting - and of finding a way home again.
On New Year's Day 1959, as Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, Alejandra San José was born in Havana, entering the world through the heart of revolution. Fearing the conflict and strife that bubbled up in the streets all around the new family, her parents took Ale and fled to the free shores of America. Ale grew up in Chicago amid a close community of refugees who lived with the hope that one day Castro would fall and they could return to their Cuban homes. Though Ale was intrigued by the specter of Havana that colored her life as a child, her fascination eventually faded in her teens until all that remained was her profound respect for the intricacies of the Spanish language and the beautiful work her father did as a linguist and translator. When her own job as an interpreter takes her back to Cuba, Ale is initially unmoved at the import of her return-- until she stumbles upon a surprising truth: the San Josés, ostensibly Catholics, are actually Jews. They are conversos who converted to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition. Enlightened by a whole new vision of her past and her culture, Ale makes her way back through San José history, uncovering new fragments of truth about the relatives who struggled with their own identities so long ago. Ale is finally lured back to Cuba to make amends with the ancestral demons still lurking there--to translate her father's troubling youthful experiences into the healing language of her Cuban American heart. In beautiful, knowing prose, Achy Obejas opens up a fascinating world of exotic wordplay, rich history, and vibrant emotions. As Alejandra struggles to confront what it is to be Cuban and American, Catholic and Jewish, Obejas illuminates her journey and the tempestuous history of Cuba with intelligence and affection. Days of Awe is a lyrical and lovely novel from an author destined for literary renown. From the Hardcover edition.
Brand-new stories by: Leonardo Padura, Pablo Medina, Alex Abella, Arturo Arango, Lea Aschkenas, Moises Asis, Arnaldo Correa, Mabel Cuesta, Yohamna Depestre, Michel Encinosa Fu, Mylene Fernandez Pintado, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Miguel Mejides, Achy Obejas, Oscar F. Ortiz, Ena Lucia Portela, Mariela Varona Roque, and Yoss.?? To most outsiders, Havana is a tropical sin city: a Roman ruin of sex and noise, a parallel universe familiar but exotic, and embargoed enough to serve as a release valve for whatever desire or pulse has been repressed or denied. Habaneros know that this is neither new--long before Havana collapsed during the Revolution's Special Period, all the way back to colonial times, it had already been the destination of choice for foreigners who wanted to indulge in what was otherwise forbidden to them--nor particularly true. In the real Havana--the lawless Havana that never appears in the postcards or tourist guides--the concept of sin has been banished by the urgency of need. And need--aching and hungry--inevitably turns the human heart darker, feral, and criminal. In this Havana, crime, though officially vanquished by revolutionary decree, is both wistfully quotidian and personally vicious. In the stories of Havana Noir, current and former residents of the city--some international sensations such as Leonardo Padura, others exciting new voices like Yohamna Depestre--uncover crimes of violence and loveless sex, of mental cruelty and greed, of self-preservation and collective hysteria. Achy Obejas is the award-winning author of Days of Awe, Memory Mambo, and We Came all the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This? Her poems, stories, and essays have appeared in dozens of anthologies. A long-time contributor to the Chicago Tribune, she was part of the 2001 investigative team that earned a Pulitzer Prize for the series, "Gateway to Gridlock." Currently, she is the Sor Juana Writer-in-Residence at DePaul University in Chicago. She was born in Havana.?? Praise for Havana Noir: Miami Herald, 11/25/07 Sewer-dwelling dwarves who run a black market. An engineer moonlighting as a beautician to make ends meet. Street toughs pondering existentialism. An aging aristocrat with an unsolvable dilemma. A Chinese boy bent on avenging his father's death. These are the characters you will meet in this remarkable collection, the latest edition of an original noir series featuring stories set in a distinct neighborhood of a particular city. Throughout these 18 stories, current and former residents of Havana -- some well-known, some previously undiscovered -- deliver gritty tales of depravation, depravity, heroic perseverance, revolution and longing in a city mythical and widely misunderstood. This is noir of a different shade and texture, shadowy and malevolent, to be sure, but desperate, too, heartbreakingly wounded, the stories linked more by the acrid pall of a failed but seemingly interminable experiment than by genre. Ambiguities abound, and ingenuity flourishes even as morality evaporates in the daily struggle for self-preservation. In this dark light the best of these stories are also the most disturbing. What For, This Burden by Michel Encinosa Fu, a resident of Havana, is a brutal and wrenching tale of brothers involved in drug deals and child prostitution; they peddle their own sister. The Red Bridge, by Yoss, another Havana resident, depicts a violent incident in the lives of two friends with apparently great potential who, though acutely aware of the depravity of their situation, are powerless or unwilling to extract themselves from the mean streets of El Patio. Cuban engineer Mariela Varona Roque's offering, The Orchid, is a short but powerful tale of the demise of a young boy frequently entrusted to the care of a browbeaten neighbor obsessed with his solitary orchid. Isolation, poverty
Sixteen stories by Josefina de Diego, Magaly Sanchez, Aida Bahr, Ena Lucia Portela, and other contemporary Cuban women reveal the effects of economic difficulties and social conditions on everyday life, as well as the strength of experimental approaches t