Remembering Cuba: Legacy of a Diaspora

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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 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 Pérez Firmat, Sylvia Curbelo, Pablo Medina, Lourdes Gil, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Heberto Padilla, and José 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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What People Are Saying

Isabel Alvarez Borland
To date, no [other] book representing such a wide and extensive sampling of views and experiences of the Cuban Diaspora exists.
Isabel Alvarez Borland, author of Cuban-American Narratives of Exile: From Person to Persona
Isabel Alvarez Borland
To date, no [other] book representing such a wide and extensive sampling of views and experiences of the Cuban Diaspora exists.
Isabel Alvarez Borland
To date, no [other] book representing such a wide and extensive sampling of views and experiences of the Cuban Diaspora exists.
—(Isabel Alvarez Borland, author of Cuban-American Narratives of Exile: From Person to Persona)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292731479
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Andrea O'Reilly Herrera
  • SECTION I : The Interior Exile ("insilio")
    • Leandro Soto: Testimonio de un artista
    • Rafael E. Saumell: Oh, La Habana
    • Manena's Cuban American Recipes
    • Hector R. Romero: Life in Exile
    • Sara Rosell: The "Sandwich" Generation
    • Efrain J. Ferrer andVivian de la Incera: The Thirteenth Suitcase
    • Enrique Patterson: Sin calcetínes
    • Julio J. Guerra Molina: Beyond Fear
    • Luis Cruz Azaceta: Dead Rafter II
    • Silvia Curbelo: Balsero Singing
  • SECTION II: "Merely a Player"
    • Heberto Padilla: Los que se alejan siempre son los niños
    • María Brito: Merely a Player
    • Ileana Fuentes: Portrait of Wendy, At Fifty, With Bra
    • Luz Irene Diaz: The Wooden Suitcase
    • María Emilia Castagliola: Once upon a Time in May of 1961 . . .
    • Juan Manuel Alonso: Crossing into the Mainstream
    • Gabriella Ibieta: Fragmented Memories
    • Tony Mendoza: Going Back
  • SECTION III: Crossing the Generational Divide
    • An Afternoon with Ernesto F. Betancourt
    • Adela Betancourt Jabine: Growing Up Cuban American
    • María Antonia Soto: My Life in Exile
    • Francisco Soto: Lost Memories and Nostalgic Obsessions
    • Flora González Mandri: Thirty-Two Years Later
    • Rachel Werner Baldwin: Island of Color
    • Alicia Serrano Machirán Granto: Life al revés
    • Gina Granto-Penque: On Being Cuban
    • Ada Manero Alvaré: One Mother's Testimonial
    • Tia Ada's Arroz con leche
    • Carlos Alberto Alvaré: Losing Eden
  • SECTION IV: Snapshots
    • Ricardo Pau-Llosa: La hora de los mameyes
    • María Cristina García: Abui
    • Olga Mendell: A Cuban American Memoir
    • Virgil Suárez: Song for the Royal Palms of Miami
    • Silvia Curbelo: Photograph of My Parents
    • Silvia Curbelo: First Shift at Hershey's, 4 A.M.
    • Andrea O'Reilly Herrera: Inhabited Woman
    • Nilda Cepero: Burialground
    • Raquel Romeu: A Journal from the Bay of Mariel
    • Jorge Luis Romeu: Political Exile
  • SECTION V: The Culture Wars
    • Gustavo Pérez Firmat: The Facts of Life on the Hyphen
    • Lourdes Gil: Against the Grain:Writing Spanish in the USA
    • Lourdes Gil: From "The Necessary Treasons"
    • Marta Elena Acosta Stone: Understanding del Casal
    • Mayling C. Blanco: A Cubana in NewYork
    • Virgil Suárez: Arroz
    • Carolina Hospital: What Kind of Cuban AreYou?
    • Nilda Cepero: Tropical Flavor
    • Elías Miguel Muñoz: Flags and Rags (On Golden Lake)
    • Kenya Carmen Dworkin y Mendéz: Next Stop Ninety Miles
  • SECTION VI: "The Bite of Exile"
    • Jose Kozer: The Bite of Exile
    • Jose Kozer: Autobiography
    • Heberto Padilla: Culture and Exile
    • Ricardo Pau-Llosa: The Wages of Exile
    • Jorge Guitart: Foreigner's Notebook
    • Jorge Guitart: In the Wilderness
    • Connie Lloveras: Living on Borrowed Ground
    • Virgil Suárez: Clotheslines
    • Carlos J. Alvaré: Letter to His Niece
    • Emilio M. Mozo: exilio
    • Emilio M. Mozo: sombras
    • Nilda Cepero: Paradox
    • Pablo Medina: Where AreYou From? A Cuban Dilemma
    • Pablo Medina: The Chosen
    • Carlota Caulfield: Even Names Have Their Exile
    • Carlota Caulfield: The Photo That Watches
  • SECTION VII: "Grace under Pressure"
    • Leandro Soto: Cubans in the U.S.
    • Grisel Pujalá-Soto: Exile: Reality or lmagination
    • Heberto Padilla: Entre el gato y la casa
    • Raúl Fernández: Musicians in Motion
    • Raúl Fernández: From"Celia Cruz"
    • Raúl Fernández: From"La magia musical de Cachao"
    • Carmen Herrera: Yesterday/Ayer
    • Rafael Soriano: E1 descanso del heroe
    • Rocío Rodríguez: Head and Vessel
    • Luis Cruz Azaceta: From Outside Cuba/Fuera de Cuba
    • María Martínez-Cañas: Historia rota (Broken History)
    • Orlando Rodríguez Sardiñas (Rossardi): Exilio
    • Roberto G. Fernández: Abode
    • Jesús J. Barquet: Lluvia y primaveras
    • Yara González-Montes: Autobiography, Historiography, and Mythography in Matías Montes Huidobro's Desterrados al fuego
  • SECTION VIII: Inheriting Exile
    • Gisele M. Requena: On Being an American-Born Cuban from Miami
    • María de los Angeles Lemus: From "Stories My Mother Never Told Me"
    • Victor Andres Triay: ABCs in South Florida Suburbia
    • Alberto Rey: Appropriated Memories
    • Margarita Engle: Inheriting Exile
    • Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés: Un Testimonio
    • Gabriel Rodríguez: The Grand Finale
    • Maura Barrios: Memoirs of a Tampeña
    • Andrea O'Reilly Herrera: Una cubanita pasada por agua
    • Cata's "pie" de guayaba
  • Select Bibliography
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