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CUBA by Ann Louise Bardach


A Traveler’s Literary Companion

edited by Ann Louise Bardach & translated by various

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-883513-11-1

The eighth in this engaging international series offers 22 short stories and excerpts from longer works, several previously unavailable in English. There are perhaps too many of the latter (novels by José Lezama Lima and Reinaldo Arenas seem particularly un-excerptable), though it’s good to be pointed toward excellent recent books by Ernesto Mestre, Abilio Estévez, and Pedro Juan Gutiérrez. The stories are generally superior—notably Lino Novás Calvo’s thriller-like “The Dark Night of Ramón Yendía,” Ana Menéndez’s plaintive “Her Mother’s House,” and the ultimate assimilation story: “We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?,” by Achy Obejas (a witty, serious farce that’s every bit as good as its title). On balance, a worthy addition to a splendid series.