Magazine article New Internationalist

Havana Black

Magazine article New Internationalist

Havana Black

Article excerpt

Havana Black by Leonardo Padura translated by Peter Bush (Bitter Lemon Press ISBN 190473815 X)

The best way, some say, to find out what a place is really like is to read its contemporary crime fiction. Cuban crime maestro Leonardo Padura offers insights jnto daily life on the island that you would be hard pushed to find elsewhere. Not in its absurd and heavily censored journalism, that's for sure.

Unlike many translated Cuban writers, Padura has not opted for exile. And fortunately for him - and us - fiction writers on the island enjoy much greater freedom today than in the past. It shows in Havana Black, Padura's recently translated second novel in a quartet that started with Havana Red. His characters have no illusions about life in Castro's Cuba - nor the material enticements of Miami either. And the interface between the two is revealed with the reality and subtlety that fiction so generously allows. …

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