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Close, But No Cigar

May 2005

No longer exactly contraband in the US (see guest editor Esther Allen’s recent essay), Cuban authors still tweak authority and flirt with danger. Norberto Fuentes enters the inner life of the dictator in his irreverent “Autobiography of Fidel Castro”; the opposition journalist and poet Raúl Rivero considers tyranny, fidelity, and homeland; Francisco García González hops a truck packed with hitchhikers and fantasies; Leonardo Padura follows a disgraced journalist longing for the sensual Venus of Velázquez; José Manuel Prieto presents a socialist’s self-described study of frivolity; Sonia Bravo’s Fidelista looks back at her spartan lifetime of loyalty; and Eduardo del Llano’s young writer-protagonist discovers his unlikely name’s already in use as a pseudonym. Warmest thanks to guest co-editors Jacqueline Loss and Esther Whitfield, whose great expertise and years of dedication to the promotion of Cuban literature have contributed enormously to this issue.