Books by Pablo Medina

Pablo Medina came to the United States from Cuba in 1960 at the age of twelve. He is the author of a memoir, Exiled Memories; the novels The Return of Felix Nogara and The Marks of Birth; and several volumes of poetry. He chairs the writing concentration

THE CUBAN COMEDY by Pablo Medina
Released: July 9, 2019

"A bleak fable that honors the poetic spirit, recognizing lyricism and metaphor as dangerous tools of defiance."
A young poet's muse is slowly stifled as the Castro regime takes power in Cuba. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"A stirring, surrealistic, and blood-soaked journey into a dark historical moment."
A coruscating and influential tale of the brutal aftermath of Haiti's liberation. Read full book review >
CUBOP CITY BLUES by Pablo Medina
Released: June 5, 2012

"Love of life, music, sex and language redeem a work that might have benefited from more continuity and focus."
Storytelling that playfully illuminates the essence of storytelling, though heavier on atmosphere and color than narrative momentum and cohesion. Read full book review >
THE CIGAR ROLLER by Pablo Medina
Released: March 1, 2005

"A surprisingly superficial life story: More about the family and mistress and less about the drooling body in the bed would have been welcome."
The jumbled memories of the life and loves of a Cuban cigar roller: the third novel (The Return of Felix Nogara, 2000, etc.) from Medina, Cuban exile, poet, and professor. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 7, 2000

Felix Nogara has returned to Barata, Cuba, after the death of its Marxist dictator Campion (a double for guess who). Read full book review >
THE MARKS OF BIRTH by Pablo Medina
Released: July 1, 1994

An evocative novel about the trials and triumphs of a Hispanic family, from a Cuban-born poet and essayist (Exiled Memories, not reviewed). The book opens in 1949 in a fictional Caribbean island-nation with the birth of Ant¢n Garc°a-Turner, a sickly child much too pale for the tropical clime, born to a bourgeois family of no particular influence or power. From the beginning, however, the boy's grandmother Felicia believes he is destined for great things, partly because of vivid dreams that she interprets with the help of a local seer. She develops a special bond with her grandson, but her discovery that he carries the family's hereditary birthmark—a brown blotch on the lower back—sends her into a mysterious state that leaves her literally speechless and nearly dead. This leads her desperate relatives to summon Lucho Turner, the family's great hope and one of Felicia's favorites, who had left the country of his birth to pursue a career in psychiatry in America. Ant¢n and his parents follow a similar route when political unrest on the tiny island forces them to flee. Felicia must watch her relatives depart into a future of which she will not be a part. Medina uses his family drama to depict the modern history of Latin America, complete with US-sponsored dictatorship and repression, CIA manipulations, the economic neocolonialism of North American corporations, and cultural imperialism. He also explores the clash of cultures as the Garc°a-Turners struggle to adapt to life in el norte. Readers will be left with little doubt that this sometimes funny, sometimes wan novel is in reality a paean to his own native land and the resilience of its people. Lyrical and stylish, this is a fine example of magical realism in the vein of Rudolfo Anaya and Gabriel Garc°a M†rquez. Read full book review >