Es Cuba: Life and Love on an Illegal Island

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9781580051798: Es Cuba: Life and Love on an Illegal Island

Es Cuba is a poignant and passionate travel memoir about falling in love with a country and one of its compatriots. Aschkenas never strays from her acute awareness that there is no way to separate her foreignness (intensified by U.S.-Cuba relations) from the complex mix of emotions, devotion and rejection, enrapture and apprehension that she develops toward the country.

Her tale is filled with beautifully woven descriptions of Cuba and the customs and habits of its people. Aschkenas is a discerning observer, taking in the innocence, isolation, contradictions, and resolute optimism of a people who have persevered against the collective disappointment bestowed upon them by a government that has been unable to deliver the utopia promised by socialism. Aschkenas, already a seasoned traveler by the time she arrives in Cuba for the first time in 1999, is overcome by her own passion for Cuba and her unraveling affection for Alfredo as she comes to appreciate his naïveté, sincerity, and ability to live for the moment, something she comes to realize is the effect of growing up in a culture where nothing is ever certain.

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Love is the operative word in journalist Aschkenas's intimate, detailed memoir of 10 months spent exploring life in Cuba—love for a young Cuban man whose devotion largely defines her journey. In February 2000, shortly after the Elián Gonzalez custody battle became the cause célèbre for nationalists, Aschkenas goes to Cuba for a language program with an American social justice organization. As a tourist, she is housed in an exclusive hotel in a wealthy Havana neighborhood, removed from the dirt-poor, hand-to-mouth struggling Cubans, whose average monthly salary is $12. She soon meets Alfredo, a black-skinned stage technician who teaches her to eschew "la vida plastica" in order to learn about the "real Cuba" of argot, bribery (a dollar gets her practically anything she needs), machismo, El Bombo (the visa lottery that allows Cubans to immigrate to the U.S.) and racism. Aschkenas gradually moves to a shared house in Centro Habana (inner-city Havana) run by several generations of Cuban women who enlighten her on feminist revolutionary history. Throughout, she and Alfredo learn to readjust their assumed ideas of nationality and politics as Aschkenas continually confronts the lesson "of how little in Cuba is as it appears on the surface." (Jan.)
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Lea Aschkenas
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Book Description Seal Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Es Cuba is a poignant and passionate travel memoir about falling in love with a country and one of its compatriots. Aschkenas never strays from her acute awareness that there is no way to separate her foreignness (intensified by U.S.-Cuba relations) from the complex mix of emotions, devotion and rejection, enrapture and apprehension that she develops toward the country. Her tale is filled with beautifully woven descriptions of Cuba and the customs and habits of its people. Aschkenas is a discerning observer, taking in the innocence, isolation, contradictions, and resolute optimism of a people who have persevered against the collective disappointment bestowed upon them by a government that has been unable to deliver the utopia promised by socialism. Aschkenas, already a seasoned traveller by the time she arrives in Cuba for the first time in 1999, is overcome by her own passion for Cuba and her unraveling affection for Alfredo as she comes to appreciate his naivete, sincerity, and ability to live for the moment, something she comes to realize is the effect of growing up in a culture where nothing is ever certain. Bookseller Inventory # AA29781580051798

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Book Description Seal Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Es Cuba is a poignant and passionate travel memoir about falling in love with a country and one of its compatriots. Aschkenas never strays from her acute awareness that there is no way to separate her foreignness (intensified by U.S.-Cuba relations) from the complex mix of emotions, devotion and rejection, enrapture and apprehension that she develops toward the country. Her tale is filled with beautifully woven descriptions of Cuba and the customs and habits of its people. Aschkenas is a discerning observer, taking in the innocence, isolation, contradictions, and resolute optimism of a people who have persevered against the collective disappointment bestowed upon them by a government that has been unable to deliver the utopia promised by socialism. Aschkenas, already a seasoned traveller by the time she arrives in Cuba for the first time in 1999, is overcome by her own passion for Cuba and her unraveling affection for Alfredo as she comes to appreciate his naivete, sincerity, and ability to live for the moment, something she comes to realize is the effect of growing up in a culture where nothing is ever certain. Bookseller Inventory # AA29781580051798

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Book Description Seal Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 360 pages. Dimensions: 7.5in. x 5.5in. x 0.7in.Es Cuba is a poignant and passionate travel memoir about falling in love with a country and one of its compatriots. Aschkenas never strays from her acute awareness that there is no way to separate her foreignness (intensified by U. S. -Cuba relations) from the complex mix of emotions, devotion and rejection, enrapture and apprehension that she develops toward the country. Her tale is filled with beautifully woven descriptions of Cuba and the customs and habits of its people. Aschkenas is a discerning observer, taking in the innocence, isolation, contradictions, and resolute optimism of a people who have persevered against the collective disappointment bestowed upon them by a government that has been unable to deliver the utopia promised by socialism. Aschkenas, already a seasoned traveler by the time she arrives in Cuba for the first time in 1999, is overcome by her own passion for Cuba and her unraveling affection for Alfredo as she comes to appreciate his navet, sincerity, and ability to live for the moment, something she comes to realize is the effect of growing up in a culture where nothing is ever certain. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781580051798

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