No longer exactly contraband in the U.S. (see guest editor Esther Allen's recent essay), Cuban authors still tweak authority and flirt with danger. Norberto Fuentes enters the inner life of the dictator in his irreverent "Autobiography of Fidel Castro"; the opposition journalist and poet Raúl Rivero considers tyranny, fidelity, and homeland; Francisco García González hops a truck packed with hitchhikers and fantasies; Leonardo Padura follows a disgraced journalist longing for the sensual Venus of Velázquez; José Manuel Prieto presents a socialist's self-described study of frivolity; Sonia Bravo's Fidelista looks back at her spartan lifetime of loyalty; and Eduardo del Llano's young writer-protagonist discovers his unlikely name's already in use as a pseudonym. Warmest thanks to guest co-editors Jacqueline Loss and Esther Whitfield, whose great expertise and years of dedication to the promotion of Cuban literature have contributed enormously to this issue. And after the success of our live forums last month (still open! read and contribute here), come back to this space on Wednesday, May 18, at 3:00 EDT for a forum with Norman Manea on the importance and difficulties of literary translations, particularly (but not only) in a closed society.

Image courtesy of Bart Friedman

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