cover image Revolution Sunday

Revolution Sunday

Wendy Guerra, trans. from the Spanish by Achy Obejas. Melville House, $16.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-61219-661-9

Guerra’s English-language debut is the lyrical and potent narrative of Cleo, a young poet who becomes an outcast in her native Cuba following her parents’ death in a suspicious accident. During the depths of her depression, Cleo learns she has won a Spanish award for her inaugural book and must leave Cuba to claim the prize. Yet upon returning to Havana, Cleo endures a multitude of visits by police and discovers her work is not allowed to be distributed in Cuba. Cleo keeps to her home, trusting only Margara, her housekeeper. One day, famous actor Gerónimo Martines appears at her door and says he wants to make a documentary about Cleo’s father, a figure who opposed the government—or at least that’s what the reader is led to believe from the documents shown to Cleo. Cleo begins living with Gerónimo as her lover while they seek answers through interviews with people who knew her father. In turn, the police remove more and more items from Cleo’s home and delete her poems from her computer, forcing Margara to memorize them for preservation. Meanwhile, Cleo struggles to connect the parents she thought she knew with her mounting suspicions of not really knowing them. Guerra’s captivating tale is an intriguing depiction of art amid corruption, and a reminder of the power in a singular voice. (Dec.)