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Contemporary Cuban Writers QUIZ     

Note: One of these authors used to work with TBR. His partner, Marcia Margado, was our Spanish editor. They helped introduce Cuban literature to the review.

Beginning with José Martí, who led the modernista movement in Latin American literature,  a wealth of 20th century Cuban writers soon followed, including Alejo Carpentier (1904–1980), who won a Miguel de Cervantes Prize, regarded as a sort of Spanish-language Nobel Prize in Literature, and was nominated for a Nobel Prize;  José Lezama Lima, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, also winner of the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, Ezequiel Vieta, Severo Sarduy, and Antonio Benítez Rojo, to name a few. Yes, men mainly dominated the narrative writing scene, but women were soon to make a name for themselves. Our quiz follows the writers who came afterwards. Some of the authors have been translated into English; some have not. Try your hand at guessing the authors and you’re in the running to receive a 30-euro (£23 / $33) gift certificate to spend at Amazon; in case of a tie, a name will be drawn. Deadline: Feb. 1, 2022




Name the author:

1. Many critics consider this author’s novel, translated into English in 2006, to be the quintessential novel of the Cuban Revolution as it spans the tumultuous years from the 1950s until the 1970s, encompassing the Revolution and its immediate aftermath.  The author was an ardent supporter of the Revolution until the last decade of his life when he renounced it and took up residence as an exile in Berlin and later in Madrid.

2. From eating human livers to copulating on the Malecon, this author isn’t shy of fully displaying Havana’s dirty side.

3. Poet and fiction writer, she is the author of a literary murder mystery set in Havana, which takes in the lesbian underground of the turbulent 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union.


4.    I still smell the foam of the sea they made me cross
         The night, I can not remember it.
         The ocean itself could not remember that.
         But I can’t forget the first gull I made out in the distance.
         High, the clouds, like innocent eyewitnesses.
         Perhaps I haven’t forgotten my lost coast,
         nor my ancestral language . . .

5. As an open opponent of the Castro regime, this award-winning poet/novelist/scriptwriter was officially exiled from Cuba in 1994. Currently based in Paris, she is a vocal supporter of Spain’s ultra-right political party Vox.

6. Famous for his detective series, one of which involves the discovery of a dead transvestite in a Havana park.

7. In this first novel of a trilogy, the author writes of high-end consumers who purchase digital sexual companions, walk around with multi-media advertisements strapped to their bodies, and live like video game protagonists. The have-nots, meanwhile, inhabit a chaotic underworld, scrambling for survival.

8. Born in Havana in 1974, this writer’s short stories and novels, awarded in prestigious literary competitions in the country, reflect the realities, conflicts and problems of contemporary Cuban society. He is considered among the most talented and renowned young storytellers on the island. He also edits two websites and writes a column in the literary magazine Cuba Contemporánea.

9. Imprisoned in Havana for “ideological deviation,” this young, openly gay writer, threatened by death and thus forced to renounce his work, finally made it to the US where his autobiography was hailed by the New York Times and later made into a film. 


        look how the people crowd together in the corners of the parks
        listening to the roar like a blessing of the bull who is castrated
        look how they go in the distance
        the masks
        lined up
         once again to wait
        the batteries of the next spectacle



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