Cuba beyond the Beach : Stories of Life in Havana
106 pages
English

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106 pages
English

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Description

Havana is Cuba’s soul: a mix of Third World, First World, and Other World. After over a decade of visits as a teacher, researcher, and friend, Karen Dubinsky looks past political slogans and tourist postcards to the streets, neighbourhoods, and personalities of a complicated and contradictory city. Her affectionate, humorous vignettes illustrate how Havana’s residents—old Communist ladies, their sceptical offspring, musicians, underground vendors, entrepreneurial landlords, and poverty-stricken professors—go about their daily lives.

As Cuba undergoes dramatic change, there is much to appreciate, and learn from, in the unlikely world Cubans have collectively built for themselves.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Queen’s University Student Overseas Travel Fund—The Sonia Enjamio Fund, which funds Cuban/Canadian student exchange.


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Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 20 octobre 2016
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781771132701
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,275€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Cuba beyond the Beach is one of those books that should be devoured by everyone interested in that mysterious island, and anyone else who simply enjoys a great read.
MARGARET RANDALL, AUTHOR OF CHE ON MY MIND AND ONLY THE ROAD/SOLO EL CAMINO: EIGHT DECADES OF CUBAN POETRY
Cuba beyond the Beach goes beyond boundaries: it s a carefully composed mixture of travel book, city memoir, and stimulating reflections on a changing Cuba. Dubinsky succeeds in weaving together her astute observations on daily life in Havana with insights from Cuban studies, politics, and culture. This blend succeeds in explaining the bizarre realities of a complicated country in a refreshing way. By bringing Cuban approaches to social problems, such as crime, income inequality, and housing, into dialogue with outside solutions Dubinsky puts things into perspective and evades the all-too-common praise or vilification of socialist Cuba. She shows us that Cuba is neither socialist utopia nor communist hell, but an incubator for ingenuity. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks to better understand this awfully charming country and its people - and actually learn something from them.
RAINER SCHULTZ, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, DIRECTOR OF THE CONSORTIUM FOR ADVANCED STUDIES ABROAD, CUBA DIVISION, IN HAVANA
In Cuba beyond the Beach Karen Dubinsky has captured the ethos of Cuba and Cubans. This work is a tour de force.
DR. ALTHEA PRINCE, SOCIOLOGIST, AUTHOR OF BEING BLACK AND THE POLITICS OF BLACK WOMEN S HAIR
Karen Dubinsky s portraits of life in Cuba are indeed beyond the beach and other worn caricatures. Her observations provide an immensely satisfying read and still whet the appetite for more. From the first chapter, she brings the reader into an encounter with Cuba that is fascinating, intriguing, and pulsing with the beauty of life in all its complexity.
MOLLY KANE, RESEARCHER IN RESIDENCE, UQAM -CIRDIS
Cuba beyond the Beach is the perfect introduction to Cuba for travellers truly interested in seeing the island beyond the beach and beyond the clich s. Even those who have visited before will learn more about the history and present of the fascinating, vibrant, and perplexing city that is Havana.
HOPE BASTIAN, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
By cutting away at the debilitating romance, clich s, and dense propaganda that often characterizes narratives about Cuba, this wonderfully rich book provides the reader with a rare glimpse into a Cuba that continues to capture our imaginations, even as we somewhat nervously witness its dramatic history unfold.
DAVID AUSTIN, AUTHOR OF FEAR OF A BLACK NATION

Cuba beyond the Beach
2016 Karen Dubinsky
First published in 2016 by Between the Lines 401 Richmond Street West, Studio 277 Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8 Canada 1-800-718-7201 www.btlbooks.com
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be photocopied, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of Between the Lines, or (for photocopying in Canada only) Access Copyright, 1 Yonge Street, Suite 1900, Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1E5.
Every reasonable effort has been made to identify copyright holders. Between the Lines would be pleased to have any errors or omissions brought to its attention.
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA CATALOGUING IN PUBLICATION
Dubinsky, Karen, author
Cuba beyond the beach: stories of life in Havana / Karen Dubinsky.
Includes index.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-1-77113-269-5 (paperback).-- ISBN 978-1-77113-270-1 (epub).-- ISBN 978-1-77113-271-8 (pdf) 1. Dubinsky, Karen--Travel--Cuba--Havana. 2. Havana (Cuba)--Description and travel. 3. Havana (Cuba)--Biography. 1. Havana (Cuba)--Social life and customs. I. Title.
F1675.3.D82 2016 972.9 2307 C2016-901831-8 C2016-901832-6
Cover photo by Ivan Soca Pascual
Cover and text design by Ingrid Paulson
We acknowledge for their financial support of our publishing activities the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country, and the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Book Publishers Tax Credit program, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
INTRODUCTION: MORE THAN A BEACH, MORE THAN A REVOLUTION
CUBANS, CANADIANS, AND AMERICANS: A PECULIAR TRIANGLE
TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT CUBA
A CITY OF STORIES
ONE: GENTE DE ZONA : PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
A COUNTRY OF OLD LADIES
THERE S BEER AT THE HOSPITAL, BUT WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE EGGS? OUR DAILY BREAD
BICYCLES AND BEAUTIFUL CAKES
P NFILO: THE JAMA JAMA GUY AS COLD WAR SUPERSTAR
PREGONEROS : THE MUSICAL THEATRE OF THE STREET
CERRO AND MY GAY TRADE UNION
WOMEN, MEN, AND THE EVERYDAY BATTLES OF THE STREET
THE FUTUROS COMMUNISTAS DAYCARE CENTRE AND OTHER ANOMALIES OF CUBAN CHILDHOOD
TWO: THOSE WHO DREAM WITH THEIR EARS: THE SOUND OF HAVANA
WALKING OUT INTO THE NIGHT MUSIC: RANDOM HORNS AND EVERYDAY REGGAET N
HOW CUBAN MUSIC MADE ME A BETTER HISTORIAN
INTERACTIVO AND EL BRECHT ON WEDNESDAYS
MOURNING SANTIAGO
MUSIC IS MY WEAPON TELMARY D AZ AND ROCHY AMENEIRO: TWO POWERFUL WOMEN OF SOUND
F BRICA DE ARTE CUBANO
THREE: LA NUEVA CUBA: LIFE IN THE NEW ECONOMY
CHOPPED VEGETABLES, RESTAURANTS, AND OTHER SIGNS OF A NEW MIDDLE CLASS
TECHNOLOGICAL DISOBEDIENCE AND THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP OF THE POOR
REAL ESTATE AS MAGIC REALISM
TAXI! WHY I DON T TALK IN CUBAN TAXIS
THE HAVANA YOU DON T KNOW: STREET CRIME, CORRUPTION, AND SOCIOLISMO
A FEW STORIES ABOUT GARBAGE
FOUR: CUBANS IN THE WORLD, THE WORLD IN CUBA
LIFE WITHOUT THE INTERNET
THE DRAMA OF THE SUITCASES: HOW TO SMUGGLE A SALMON INTO HAVANA
TAKING CUBANS TO COSTCO
THE THERMOMETER THAT STRUCK UP MY MOST UNUSUAL FRIENDSHIP
LOOKING FOR THE ENEMY IN MANHATTAN: HOW MY FRIEND EMILIA ENDED THE COLD WAR
CONCLUSION: TODO SER DISTINTO? OUR UNCERTAIN FUTURES
NOTES
INDEX
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Just about everyone I know in Havana made a contribution to this book, so my first thank you is to just about everyone I know in Havana. You are all in this book, and in my heart, in one way or another. Friends and family in Canada also made enormous contributions. Susan Belyea and Jordi Belyea Dubinsky lived many of these experiences with me. I am doubly blessed to share a first and a second home with such fine company. Susan Lord, my co-teacher, once remarked that Havana is just too big for one instructor. Both Queen s University in Canada and the city of Havana are rewarding workplaces (especially Havana), and I am happy to share them with her. Zaira Zarza and Freddy Monasterio helped me cross the Cuba-Canadian border, literally and imaginatively, more times than any of us can count and they remain inspiring examples of how to keep oneself in two worlds at once.
Several people read all or part of this manuscript and offered me valuable advice, reminded me of cool Havana moments I had forgotten, caught my errors, and pushed me to express myself clearly. Many thanks to Susan Belyea, Emilia Fernandez, Sean Mills, Freddy Monasterio, Susan Prentice, Xenia Reloba, Scott Rutherford, Shadi Shahkhalili, Pamela Simon, and Ruth Warner. Michael Riordan provided some much needed encouragement at a crucial moment.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Between the Lines. The continued existence of an independent, opinionated, Canadian publishing house is a near miracle. Long may you continue. Thanks especially to Amanda Crocker, Marg Anne Morrison, and Robert Clarke for their keen editorial eyes. Thanks also to the tremendous production and promotion team: Ren e Knapp, Matthew Adams, and Jennifer Tiberio.
Havana photographer Ivan Soca Pascual gave me access to his considerable archives for the front cover image. It is an honour to share his work with a broader audience. Thanks to Ingrid Paulson for her beautiful design.
I wrote this book in Canada and in Cuba. When I was in Canada, I would e-mail friends in Havana (those with functioning Internet connections) to confirm a detail or a street name or a translation. When I was in Havana, I was usually without easy Internet access, so I would text friends in Canada to google something for me. In this makeshift way I managed to be as accurate as possible, but if I got it wrong, it is definitely my bad.
A note about the people in this book: Some of the names are pseudonyms. Most are real. I asked permission to cite all private conversations. A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to the Queen s Overseas Student Travel Fund-The Sonia Enjamio Award, which helps Cuban students study in Canada and Canadian students study in Cuba.
CUBA BEYOND THE BEACH
INTRODUCTION
MORE THAN A BEACH, MORE THAN A REVOLUTION
Over a million Canadians travel to Cuba every year. Most of them go to the beach.
Who can argue with that? Canadian winters are harsh, Cuban beaches beautiful. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, when it seemed no one was getting on airplanes, Cuban tourist officials worried about what would become of their industry. That fall, a leading Canadian-Cuban expert reassured a group of tourist industry leaders: Don t worry. They ll be here, he told them. Canadians are more afraid of winter than they are of terrorists. 1
Over a decade later the Cuban tourist industry is booming and visitors are increasing. Canada tops the list of tourist-sending nations in Cuba, followed by G

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