Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana

Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana

by Isadora Tattlin
3.7 8

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Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana by Isadora Tattlin

Isadora Tattlin is the American wife of a European energy consultant posted to Havana in the 1990s. Wisely, the witty Mrs. Tattlin began a diary the day her husband informed her of their new assignment. One of the first entries is her shopping list of things to take, including six gallons of shampoo. For although the Tattlins were provided with a wonderful, big house in Havana, complete with a staff of seven, there wasn't much else money could buy in a country whose shelves are nearly bare. The record of her daily life in Cuba raising her two small children, entertaining her husband's clients (among them Fidel Castro and his ministers and minions), and contending with chronic shortages of, well . . . everything (on the street, tourists are hounded not for money but for soap), is literally stunning.

Adventurous and intuitive, Tattlin squeezed every drop of juice--both tasty and repellent--from her experience. She traveled wherever she could (it's not easy--there are few road signs or appealing places to stay or eat). She befriended artists, attended concerts and plays. She gave dozens of parties, attended dozens more. Cuba Diaries--vividly explicit, empathetic, often hilarious--takes the reader deep inside this island country only ninety miles from the U.S., where the average doctor's salary is eleven dollars a month. The reader comes away appalled by the deprivation and drawn by the romance of a weirdly nostalgic Cuba frozen in the 1950s.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565127210
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 05/17/2002
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 928,669
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Isadora Tattlin was born and raised in California and spent her early adulthood in New York City. She is married to a European executive and lives now wherever his job takes them and their two young children.

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Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A realistic glimpse into life in Cuba. Funny and upbeat. I highly recommend it.
allipat More than 1 year ago
Interesting read on daily life in cuba. Very well written. Interesting diary format that keeps moving. Lots of insights into the region, history and politics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This amazing book takes us inside modern Cuba. What is it really like? How do Cubans live? What do they think about their homeland and what do they say about it? It's here as Tattlin describes stores with no merchandise, workers with no work, and restaurants with no food. She meets artists struggling to express themselves and fathers desperate to buy food for their families. She describes Cuban women begging on the street for soap -- something they can't buy even if they had money. She describes the maze of government regulations and a strange dinner party in her home where the guest of honor is Fidel Castro. If you hate the embargo, you will like this book. If you love Communism, you will hate this book. If you love the Cuban people and wish them and their culture a brighter future, you will find Tattlin's book fascinating as it describes a resilient people struggling to get to tomorrow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating look at post-revolution Cuba. I could not put it down! This book made me ache for the Cuban people and gave me a great desire to see Cuba's raw beauty, at the same time making me thankful of all of my American amenities, like soap! I gave it four stars due to some editing & formating issues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never been in Cuba, but my father was Cuban and I loved listening to his stories of his youth and how beautiful Cuba was. It was very interesting to read an outsiders view of life in Cuba now. It just shows what a mess Castro has made of a beautiful country and it's people. It's very sad, but a real eye opener for anyone who has no idea of what those people go through on a daily basis.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a hoot! Energy consultants are not "posted" - however, ambassadors are. This looks to be the book by a millionairess - a container full of provisions, 7 servants - married to an ambassador of some kind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hmmm..a good read, but I am a little suspect of some of her stories. I travelled to Cuba legally through a non-profit organization a few months ago, and spent four months in the country. Maybe things have changed a lot since she finished her book, but I found many of her descriptions of supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants to be quite harsh. Then again, supposedly things have gotten a lot better from the services stand point, so who knows!