Remembering Cuba: Legacy of a Diaspora

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 ...

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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 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: 9780292731462
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Sect. I The Interior Exile ("insilio") 1
Testimonio de un artista 3
Oh, La Habana 4
Manena's Cuban American Recipes 13
Life in Exile 13
The "Sandwich" Generation 20
The Thirteenth Suitcase 26
Sin calcetines 34
Beyond Fear 43
Dead Rafter II 47
Balsero Singing 48
Sect. II "Merely a Player" 51
Los que se alejan siempre son los ninos 53
Merely a Player 54
Portrait of Wendy, At Fifty, With Bra 58
The Wooden Suitcase 64
Once upon a Time in May of 1961 ... 66
Crossing into the Mainstream 67
Fragmented Memories 69
Going Back 78
Sect. III Crossing the Generational Divide 83
An Afternoon with Ernesto F. Betancourt 85
Growing Up Cuban American 92
My Life in Exile 98
Lost Memories and Nostalgic Obsessions 100
Thirty-Two Years Later 107
Island of Color 112
Life al reves 116
On Being Cuban 121
One Mother's Testimonial 124
Tia Ada's Arroz con leche 128
Losing Eden 128
Sect. IV Snapshots 133
La hora de los mameyes 135
Abui 137
A Cuban American Memoir 143
Song for the Royal Palms of Miami 146
Photograph of My Parents 148
First Shift at Hershey's, 4 A.M. 149
Inhabited Woman 151
Burialground 152
A Journal form the Bay of Mariel 153
Political Exile 165
Sect. V The Culture Wars 171
The Facts of Life on the Hyphen 173
Against the Grain: Writing Spanish in the USA 177
From "The Necessary Treasons" 179
Understanding del Casal 181
A Cubana in New York 187
Arroz 192
What Kind of Cuban Are You? 193
Tropical Flavor 195
Flags and Rags (On Golden Lake) 196
Next Stop Ninety Miles 202
Sect. VI "The Bite of Exile" 207
The Bite of Exile 209
Autobiography 210
Culture and Exile 211
The Wages of Exile 214
Foreigner's Notebook 223
In the Wilderness 225
Living on Borrowed Ground 225
Clotheslines 226
Letter to His Niece 228
exilio 230
sombras 231
Paradox 232
Where Are You From? A Cuban Dilemma 233
The Chosen 235
Even Names Have Their Exile 236
The Photo That Watches 238
Sect. VII "Grace under Pressure" 243
Cubans in the U.S. 245
Exile: Reality or Imagination 248
Entre el gato y la casa 249
Musicians in Motion 252
From "Celia Cruz" 253
From "La magia musical de Cachao" 255
Yesterday/Ayer 257
El descanso del heroe 258
Head and Vessel 259
From Outside Cuba/Fuera de Cuba 260
Historia rota (Broken History) 260
Exilio 262
Abode 265
Lluvia y primaveras 267
Autobiography, Historiography, and Mythography in Matias Montes Huidobro's Desterrados al fuego 269
Sect. VIII "Inheriting Exile" 277
On Being an American-Born Cuban from Miami 279
From "Stories My Mother Never Told Me" 284
ABCs in South Florida Suburbia 289
Appropriated Memories 299
Inheriting Exile 306
Un Testimonio 309
The Grand Finale 312
Memoirs of a Tampena 313
Una cubanita pasada por agua 317
Cata's "pie" de guayaba 320
Select Bibliography 321
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