This month we’re in Cuba, exploring the island’s elastic sense of time through speculative fiction by seven of its hottest writers. The stories here navigate this world and multiple others to produce both compelling narratives and fascinating insight into contemporary Cuba. Rock star Yoss cooks up an interstellar delight. Mylene Fernández Pintado suggests at least one solution to the endless line at the bank. Erick J. Mota relives long-distance love through classic Cuban music, while Ena Lucia Portela subverts a fairy tale by putting the shoe on the other foot. Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro ships off three child refugees in a singular vessel. Eduardo del Llano moves a stealth pinch-hitter into the lineup. And at the movies, Herson Tissert Pérez screens a different director’s cut. Back on the Earth we know, Rubén Gallo reflects on Obama in Cuba and Hillary Gulley interviews Mary Jo Porter, translator and facilitator of Cuban blogs, in our nonfiction feature. We thank our guest editors, Esther Allen and Hillary Gulley, who provide an introduction. We trust you’ll make time for this issue.




Nonfiction about Cuba




Book Reviews

Magdaléna Platzová’s “The Attempt”

A powerfully distilled meditation on the competing costs of freedom and dependence.


Pizarnik’s “Extracting the Stone of Madness” & Dabral’s “This Number Does Not Exist”

Pizarnik is a heroic voyager slaying demons and recovering lost languages . . . . Dabral returns again and again to childhood, to the difference between city and countryside, to a nagging sense of loss.


On Cuban Time

Cuban time moves to its own complex rhythms.

Project DreamReal

“you can't go asking for the impossible.”