Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged Cuba

One Hundred Bottles

An intensely vivid and riveting story of abuse, pain, honesty, erotica and discovery-this combination of words may not sound appealing, but the provocative and imaginative novel of these topics woven together creates a graphic fall from the literary world into our laps of reading desire.

Cuba On My Mind

Cuba, in my mind: cigars, Fidel Castro’s beard, Elian Gonzalez, and a very murky high school level comprehension of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Let’s get more specific and, arguably, more self-incriminating. What comes to mind when I think of pre-Castro Cuba? The Godfather: Part II. That lavish New Year’s Eve party where Michael discovers Fredo’s betrayal. Oh yes, and the actual history: Fulgencio Batista stepping down (read: fleeing), leaving Cuba to Castro.

The Cuban Revolution (1959-2009): Relations with Spain, the European Union, and the United States

Joaquín Roy’s study is, to my knowledge, the most comprehensive attempt to define Cuba’s relationship to the Western World (Europe and the U.S.) in the past fifty years. There is no question of its timely publication—to coincide with the fifty year anniversary of the Cuban Revolution (1959-2009).

How to Leave Hialeah

In real life, I have had only a small glimpse of Miami, driving through on the way to the Florida Keys. After reading Jennine Capó Crucet’s story collection How to Leave Hialeah, I feel I have witnessed Miami life on the most intimate levels. This debut story collection won the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the thirty-fourth Annual Chicano/Latino Literary Prize.

Alicia en el Pueblo de Maravillas (Alice in Wondertown)

As Alice in Wondertown begins, a sense of foreboding emanates from the screen. Alice is running along a beach, away from an invisible threat, and her ill-fitting boots are impeding her progress. She makes it to the main road, screaming to a truck full of workers for help. After what seems like a full minute of Alice screaming, the truck finally screeches to a halt and the occupants acknowledge the distressed woman in the street.


Upon reading Ruins, I was struck by the urgency of the content. Set in post-revolutionary Cuba the characters exist in a state of stagnant ideologies and hopes. Throughout the narrative Achy Obejas exposes a world that is startlingly familiar, one in which political values change according to the realities in which they exist.

Fidel's Last Days

Fidel’s Last Days is a novel about a fictional conspiracy to kill Fidel Castro by applying a poisonous topical cream to his hairline. Supposedly the CIA has attempted to assassinate Castro 638 times, but Roland Merullo leads you to believe that maybe this time, with the cream, the secret society, and the beautiful woman, it will work. It has to. The story moves effortlessly between Carolina Anzar Perez in Miami and Carlos Arroyo Gutierrez in Havana.