The Cuban Comedy:
in conversation with ALICE HOFFMAN
This event includes a book signing
July 18, 2019
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed, award-winning novelist, poet, and translator PABLO MEDINA for a discussion of his latest book, The Cuban Comedy: A Novel. He will be joined by celebrated local writer ALICE HOFFMAN, author of Practical Magic.
About The Cuban Comedy
Piedra Negra is an isolated village, whose citizens consist mainly of soldiers injured in the revolution who pass the time drinking a firewater so intense that all hallucinate, and most never recover. The firewater distiller's daughter, Elena, longs to be a poet, and after a chance encounter with Daniel Arcilla, Cuba's most important poet, Elena wins a national poetry prize and leaves Piedra Negra behind for Havana.
There she encounters a population adjusting to a new way of life, post-revolution: there are spies and secret meetings, black marketeers, and censorship. Full of outlandish humor and insights into an often contradictory and Kafkaesque regime, Medina brings 1960s Cuba to life through the eyes of Elena.
Praise for The Cuban Comedy
"Medina has written a novel in which one could lose one’s self, just as the aspiring poet, Elena, is embroiled in the chaos of one of the most compelling moments in Cuban history. The prose is classic Medina―rich, insightful, and delectable.” ―Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana
"The Cuban Comedy is Medina's dramatic reminder that one might expect a true revolution to fill our hearts with poetry, not strangle a poet's words in her throat." ―Bob Shacochis, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul
"A sharp, beautifully rendered look at how political ideology can warp even the best art. At times hilarious, at times tragic, The Cuban Comedy keeps you rooting for its idealistic poet-heroine, Elena, as she navigates an impossible post-revolution Cuba. Politics may be able to crush poetry, but in this elegy, the masterful Pablo Medina reminds us again of the sanctity of intellectual freedom, no matter the costs." ―Ana Menendez, author of Adios, Happy Homeland!
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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