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Havana Noir (Cuba)

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In the stories of Havana Noir, authors uncover crimes of violence and loveless sex, of mental cruelty and greed, of self-preservation and collective hysteria, in a city characterized by ironic and wrenching contradictions.

$26.95 $20.21

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Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Leonardo Padura, Pablo Medina, Alex Abella, Arturo Arango, Lea Aschkenas, Moisés Asís, Arnaldo Correa, Mabel Cuesta, Yohamna Depestre, Michel Encinosa Fú, Mylene Fernández Pintado, Carolina García-Aguilera, Miguel Mejides, Achy Obejas, Oscar F. Ortíz, Ena Lucía Portela, Mariela Varona Roque, and Yoss.

From the introduction by Achy Obejas:

To most outsiders, Havana is a tropical wreckage of sin, sex, and noise, a parallel world familiar but exotic—and embargoed enough to serve as a release valve for whatever pulse has been repressed or denied. Long before the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and the United States’ economic blockade (in place since 1962), Havana was the destination of choice for foreigners who wanted to indulge in what was otherwise forbidden to them: mojitos and ménages, miscegenation and revolution. A photo taken in Havana has always authenticated its subject as a rebel and renegade . . .

In the real Havana—the shadowy Havana that never appears in the postcards, tourist guides, or testimonies of either the political left or right—the concept of sin has been banished by the urgency of need. And need inevitably turns the human heart feral. In this Havana, crime and violence, though officially vanquished by revolutionary decree, are wistfully quotidian and vicious. In the stories of Havana Noir, current and former residents of the city—some internationally known, others undiscovered and startling—relate tales of ambiguous moralities, misologistic brutality, collective cruelty, and the damage inured by self-preservation at all costs.

Table of Contents


Part I: Sleepless in Havana
“Nowhere Man” by Miguel Mejides (Old Havana)
“The Last Passenger” by Ena Lucía Portela (Vedado)
“The Scene” by Mylene Fernández Pintado (Malecón)
“Staring at the Sun” by Leonardo Padura (Marianao)

Part II: Escape to Nowhere
“The Dinner” by Carolina García-Aguilera (Flores)
“Johnny Ventura’s Seventh Try” by Pablo Medina (Jaimanitas)
“Shanghai” by Alex Abella (Siboney)
“Murder at 503 La Rosa” by Moisés Asís (Ayestarán)
“Murder, According to My Mother-in-Law” by Arturo Arango (El Cerro)

Part III: Sudden Rage
“The Orchid” by Mariela Varona Roque (Santos Suárez)
“What for, This Burden” by Michel Encinosa Fú (Vibora)
“The Red Bridge” by Yoss (Lawton)
“La Coca-Cola del Olvido” by Lea Aschkenas (Centro Habana)
“Roger Crumbler Considered His Shave” by Gary Phillips (Mid-City)

Part IV: Drowning in Silence
“Zenzizenzic” by Achy Obejas (Chinatown)
“Virgins of Regla” by Mabel Cuesta (Regla)
“Olúo” by Arnaldo Correa (Casablanca)
“Settling of Scores” by Oscar F. Ortíz (Cojimar)
“Abikú” by Yohamna Depestre (Alamar)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Published: 10/1/07
  • IBSN: 9781933354385
  • e-IBSN: 9781936070237


ACHY OBEJAS is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ruins, Days of Awe, and three other books of fiction. She edited and translated (into English) the anthology Havana Noir, and has since translated Junot Díaz, Rita Indiana, Wendy Guerra, and many others. In 2014, she was awarded a USA Ford Fellowship for her writing and translation. The Tower of the Antilles is her latest work.

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