Singing to Cuba

Margarita Engle, Author Arte Publico Press $9.5 (164p) ISBN 978-1-55885-070-5
The narrator of this pleasantly rambling first novel is a Cuban-American poet raised in Harlem who returns to Cuba to visit relatives and to let them know that they are remembered by their family in exile. When a cousin, fearful of the Castro regime, requests that she not use his name in writing about the experience, she responds, ``I'm just a nature poet. I write very small, insignificant little things about trees and flowers, birds, insects, things like that.'' In fact, the novel deals with human nature: the ``Maximum Leader'' and his tyranny, the ways in which people adjust to shortages, and the nostalgia that the narrator feels for the summers she spent in Cuba as a girl. There is no plot per se, but it is a joy to travel along with Engle's narrator as she observes the way Cubans blow kisses to tourists who are virtually stealing food out of their mouths, and as her cousin explains how subversive songwriters find ways to encode anti-Castro lyrics, like the tune in which William Tell's son grows tired of holding an apple on his head. The title refers to ``Singers to Cuba,'' a group that travels around singing (forbidden) religious songs and asking for guidance from God. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.