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The Book of Havana (Reading the City)

The Book of Havana (Reading the City)

Location(s): Havana

Genre(s): Short Stories

Era(s): Various

When a history teacher decides to throw out an old, threadbare Cuban flag, he doesn’t plan for the air of suspicion that quickly descends on him…

A woman’s attempt to register ownership of her family home draws her into a bureaucratic labyrinth that requires a grasp of higher mathematics to fully comprehend…

On the day of their graduation, a group of students spend the night drinking around the ‘Fountain of Youth’, ironically celebrating the bright future that doesn t await them…

The stories gathered in this anthology reflect the many complex challenges Havana’s citizens have had to endure as a result of their country s political isolation from the hardships of the ‘Special Period’, to the pitfalls of Cuba s schizophrenic currency system, to the indignities of becoming a cheap tourist destination for well-heeled Westerners. Moving through various moments in its recent history, as well as through different neighbourhoods from the prefab, Soviet-era maze of Alamar, to the bars and nightclubs of the Malecón and Vedado these stories also demonstrate the defiance of Havana: surviving decades of economic disappointment with a flair for the comic, the surreal and the fantastical that remains as fresh as the first dreams of revolution.

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