Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner

Telex from Cuba

Rachel Kushner

Cuba in the 1950s; a country on the cusp of change. The old way of life among the colonials is slowly dismantled as the seeds of dissent and revolution seeps steadily into people's lives. Reading this is like, day by day, opening up their front doors to see just how these very different lives, in one way or another, are all affected by radical change. In doing this you share their concerns, passions, the sadness and the joy.

Extract

In Palma Soriano, a small town deep in Oriente Province, where the temperature was a good fifteen degrees hotter than in Havana, the sky somehow lower, the sun closer, the air so heavy with moisture it was more fish tank than greenhouse, he returned the car and waited at a dingy stucco motel for his pickup contact. He paid for a room, showered, and went to sit in the shade of the motel patio, which aproned a swimming pool ringed in algae. To his surprise, there was a group of people clustered on the far side of the pool. From the front, the motel reeked of lethargy and desertion. He hadn't heard any guests. The group was absolutely silent, hovering in a semicircle around a camera on a tripod. It was aimed at two men dressed like Cuban rebels in army fatigues and M-26 armbands, except they looked possibly American, pale and clean-shaven. A microphone dangled above their heads.

Parallels
  • Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire
  • The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa

Books with similar mood

The Amateur Marriage

Anne Tyler

Featherstone

Kirsty Gunn

In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips

The Ice Trap

Kitty Sewell

The Cryptographer

Tobias Hill

A Crying Shame

Renate Dorrestein

Good Harbor

Anita Diamant

The Paris Wife

Paula McLain

The Bookman's Tale

Charlie Lovett

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman

Despite the Falling Snow

Shamim Sarif

Ancient Promises

Jaishree Misra

Blessings

Anna Quindlen

The Beekeeper's Pupil

Sara George

You Came Back

Christopher Coake

The Mysteries of Glass

Sue Gee

The Brainfever Bird

Allan Sealy

The Shadow Boxer

Steven Heighton

The Chapel at the Edge of the World

Kirsten McKenzie

The Cypriot

Andreas Koumi

Shotgun Lovesongs

Nickolas Butler

Girl in a Blue Dress

Gaynor Arnold

Old Filth

Jane Gardam

Crow Lake

Mary Lawson

The Namesake

Jhumpa Lahiri

No Great Mischief

Alistair MacLeod

Memoirs of a Geisha

Arthur Golden

Lyrics Alley

Leila Aboulela

Find Me

André Aciman

The Tenth Muse

Catherine Chung

Sight

Jessie Greengrass

The Tea Lords

Hella S Haasse

Big Cherry Holler

Adriana Trigiani

The Calligrapher's Daughter

Eugenia Kim

Villa America

Liza Klaussmann

By Night the Mountain Burns

Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

How to Read the Air

Dinaw Mengestu

Give Us This Day

Jonathan Tulloch

Wild Geese

Lara Harte

Blessed are the Cheesemakers

Sarah-Kate Lynch

Bel Canto

Ann Patchett

The Drink and Dream Tea House

Justin Hall

Let's Twist Again

Leo Cullen

The Vintage and the Gleaning

Jeremy Chambers

Bitter Leaf

Chioma Okereke

Chef

Jaspreet Singh

Zoology

Ben Dolnick

Catching the Light

Karen Powell

Eva Moves the Furniture

Margot Livesey