Skip to content
Words Without Borders is an inaugural Whiting Literary Magazine Prize winner!

May 2016

On Cuban Time: New Writing from the Island

Image: Douglas Pérez, "Pictopía III: Still I Have a Dream," 2009 Oil on canvas 63 x 93 3/4 in. Courtesy of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection

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.

feature

Book Reviews

Magdaléna Platzová’s “The Attempt”

Reviewed by Emma Garman

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”

Reviewed by Kate Prengel

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.

“Orthokostá” by Thanassis Valtinos

Reviewed by Thomas Michael Duncan

Valtinos explores the twists and turns between perpetrating and being the victim of violence amid the confusions and contradictions of civil war.

Recent Issues

Crucible of Languages and Cultures: Writing from Macau

Turning the Kaleidoscope: Writing from Lebanon

The Queer Issue IX

The World through the Eyes of Writers: Celebrating Fifteen Years

Several Worlds Simultaneously: Seeking Argentina

Charged with Humanity: Six Hungarian Women Writers

International Graphic Novels: Volume XII

Singular and Universal: Stories of Parents and Children

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.