RE: RARA-AVIS: Crime Fiction in Cuba

From: Jose Latour (
Date: 09 Jan 2002

This answers the remaining questions posed by Manuel Ramos.

In Cuba, the bulk of crime fiction deals with espionage. Ruthless counterrevolutionaries who plot the assassination of national leaders, drink, smoke and cheat on their wives, are neutralized by intelligent, bright and kind-hearted revolutionaries who don't touch the stuff, have quit smoking or are cutting down fast, and love their spouses so much they don't even glance at gorgeous women. But we also have some good novels, of which I will mention two in the next paragraph.

Concerning Latin American crime fiction, I recommend reading the works of Rubem Fonseca (Brazil, "High Art" translated from Portuguese, NY, 1986), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru, "Who killed Palomino Molero?" translated from Spanish, NY, 1987, and "Death in The Andes" NY 1996), Alejo Carpentier
(Cuba, "The Chase" translated from Spanish, NY 1989) and Paco Ignacio Taibo II (Mexican, "The Shadow of the Shadow" translated from Spanish, NY 1991).
  If you read Spanish, try Rolo Diez (Argentinian living in Mexico, "Luna de Escarlata"), Leonardo Padura (Cuba, "Vientos de Cuaresma") and Daniel Chavarria (Uruguayan living in Cuba, "La Sexta Isla").

On Elliot Steil's (the main character of my novel "Outcast") major personality shift. Perhaps this reflects what I would do should someone try to kill me and fail. I would go after the sob with all I got. Simple as that. Retribution is a human trait only saints lack. I'm no saint.
  Since yesterday I was rather long-winded, today I'm keeping it short.


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