Cuba: Going Back

Cuba: Going Back

by Tony Mendoza
     
 

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Longing for their lost homeland unites Cuban exiles and their children, many of whom have never seen the Island. Yet as decades pass and the hope of "next year in Cuba" fades, the Cuban American community has had to forge new understandings of where "home" is and what it means to be "Cuban," "American," and/or "Cuban American."

The testimonies gathered in this book

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Overview

Longing for their lost homeland unites Cuban exiles and their children, many of whom have never seen the Island. Yet as decades pass and the hope of "next year in Cuba" fades, the Cuban American community has had to forge new understandings of where "home" is and what it means to be "Cuban," "American," and/or "Cuban American."

The testimonies gathered in this book offer over one hundred perspectives on the Cuban diaspora and on what it means to be Cuban in exile. Through narratives, interviews, creative writings, letters, journal entries, recipes, photographs, and paintings, Cubans from various waves of the migration and their descendants piece together a complex mosaic of the exile experience and diasporic identity.

In her introduction, Andrea O'Reilly Herrera describes how she conceived the project and chose the contributors, including both unknown and established artists and writers such as Gustavo Perez Firmat, Sylvia Curbelo, Pablo Medina, Lourdes Gil, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Heberto Padilla, and Jose Kozer. The contributors' diverse and sometimes conflicting voices offer a more inclusive and complex understanding of Cuban American identity and the various Cuban "presences" residing throughout the United States. Likewise, they overthrow a perceived "hierarchy of suffering" among Cuban Americans, which purports to dictate who can and cannot speak authentically about exile and loss, as well as what form their expression can take.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
In 1996 after a 36-year absence, Mendoza--a photographer by trade--returned to his native Cuba. This book, based on the photos and interviews he conducted on his trip, is a remarkable first-hand account of today's Cuba. Burdened both by the loss of Soviet aid and the American embargo, he concludes, Cuba is a testimony to the failure of Castro's socialism. He reports that he encountered very few Castro supporters and found numerous Cubans willing to speak out against the failed social experiment. He often heard them say "Fidel is no economist"--something he reflects upon through the lens of his camera. Like others, Mendoza decides that Cubans would be better off if the United States did not push so hard for an end to Castro and left him alone to deal with failure. Similar to Andrei Codrescu's Ay, Cuba! (LJ 3/1/99), this volume is best summarized in a series of photos of a Havana park bench. In each succeeding photo, the bench, much like Cuba, is dismantled by time and the very people its aims to please. Highly recommended for most libraries.--Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ.Lib., AL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292752320
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
01/28/1999
Pages:
153
Product dimensions:
8.57(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.76(d)

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