The Autobiography of Fidel Castro

By Collins, Richard C. | The Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

The Autobiography of Fidel Castro


Collins, Richard C., The Virginia Quarterly Review


The Autobiography of Fidel Castro, by Norberto Fuentes, translated by Anna Kushner. Norton, $27.95

This abridged translation of the original two -volume faux autobiography is fascinating reading from virtually any perspective. If the dictionary had a picture aside the Spanish anatomical term, co jones, it should be of Fidel Castro. Whether one is interested in Castro's sexual adventures, his style of governance, his relationship to Che Guevara, or how he managed to dance - and survive - while caught between Kennedy and Khrushchev in the missile crisis, one will find a historic figure in fresh perspective. But the reader can never quite dismiss this persistent intruding thought: this book is fiction - Fuentes is not Fidel Castro even though he writes as if he were. But after acknowledging that fact, how much of the book is "fictional-false" and how much is "truth" anchored in Fuentes's personal relationship with Castro, his own participation in many of the events recounted, or on good judgment arising from his obviously diligent historical and documentary research? …

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