Guest Editors' Note

Article excerpt

New Cuban Fiction presents recent short stories by fifteen of the best writers on the island. These fifteen very different authors, translated here by eight translators in order to better retain the remarkable diversity of voices, write primarily about current times and the challenges of survival since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Cuban economy slipped into the so-called "Special Period" of 1990s scarcities and ingenious coping strategies.

Fifteen different perspectives on Cuban realities are presented here, all sharp-eyed perceptions of flaws and merits, limitations and freedoms, and the tensions of living (and defining) Cubanness on this island of eleven million people, ninety miles from the Florida coast, embargoed by the U.S. for most of the past half-century yet bombarded with images of U.S. consumer culture.

These stories reflect both light and dark responses to changing times. Some are songs of despair and surrender, while others show ways to circumvent shortages and adapt to changing circumstances. Some stories are set in Havana, while others depict rural or small town Cuba. The volume includes both men and women authors, features pieces of both action and description, and presents everyday detail along with abstract concepts. …