Six Days in Havana

Overview

James A. Michener, one of the most celebrated writers of our time, has an extraordinary talent for finding the essence of a place. His books give readers an unmistakable "you are there" feeling, whether set in the South Seas, Alaska, Afghanistan, or Poland. Six Days in Havana has the same immediacy, providing glimpses of a city that has been terra incognita to most North Americans for thirty years. With his associate, John Kings, Michener visited Havana during research for a new novel on the Caribbean. He was ...
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Overview

James A. Michener, one of the most celebrated writers of our time, has an extraordinary talent for finding the essence of a place. His books give readers an unmistakable "you are there" feeling, whether set in the South Seas, Alaska, Afghanistan, or Poland. Six Days in Havana has the same immediacy, providing glimpses of a city that has been terra incognita to most North Americans for thirty years. With his associate, John Kings, Michener visited Havana during research for a new novel on the Caribbean. He was only looking for a house and a sugar plantation in which to set the Cuban portion of his story, but he found much more to excite his interest. Fascinated initially by the spectacle of once-grand public buildings and ornate mansions slowing falling into ruin, Michener and Kings set out to explore all of Havana that they could see in six days.

James Michener's insightful text and John Kings' evocative photographs record their impressions of Havana thirty years after the Revolution. The words and pictures beautifully complement each other, offering views of a city that many North Americans may never otherwise see. Michener and Kings visited residential districts, the downtown business and government zone, the old city, churches, museums, a distillery, coffee and sugar plantations in the outlying areas, La Vigia, the former home of Ernest Hemingway, and the fishing village Cojima, the setting for Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. They talked with about two hundred Cubans -- laborers, office workers, religious leaders, diplomats, and journalists. Michener even held a no-holds-barred press conference for Cuban and foreign journalists. This is firsthand reporting of the finest kind. Michener's impressions of modern Havana open a unique window on a country that is so close and yet so inaccessible to most U.S. citizens.

"In today's fast-changing world, Cuba will be next on center stage."--James A. Michener. Michener's impressions of Castro's Havana open a unique window on a country and a people so close yet so inaccessible. 160 color prints.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While researching his latest novel, Michener stopped in Havana and what he found there struck him so that he wrote this separate volume about it. The meat of the book was gleaned from interviews with close to 200 Cubans of widely assorted backgrounds and positions, and concerns how the country has progressed after 90 years of independence from Spain and under the 30-year leadership of Castro. Kings's many photographs are a fine complement to the text. Bound to be in demand by Michener's numerous fans. Literary Guild alternate; Doubleday Book Club selection.-- MR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292776296
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1989
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 7.39 (w) x 10.17 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

James A. Michener
Part travelogue, part history, part fictional adventure, James Michener's heavily researched books edify as they entertain. He began his career with the book that would become the musical South Pacific, but he ended it as one of the century's most popular -- and prolific -- novelists.

Biography

James Albert Michener is a Pulitzer prize-winning author reknowned for his historical epics. A prolific novelist and relentless researcher, Michener wrote over books. Despite his substantial commercial success, he was known to be a humble man and a was an active philanthropist. His many beloved works include Tales of the South Pacific, which was adapted for Broadway and film as South Pacific, Hawaii and The Source.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      James Albert Michener (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 3, 1907
    1. Date of Death:
      October 16, 1997
    2. Place of Death:
      Austin, Texas

Table of Contents

Havana Bound 7
Images 17
First Impressions 26
Roaming Havana 43
Finding My House in El Cerro 69
Placid Experiences 77
Coffee or Sugar? 85
In Havana 95
The Old City 102
The Gilded Age 109
Faded Glory 116
Street Life Today 125
Cubans 131
America in Cuba 138
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