Title: Havana Real
Author: Yoani Sánchez
Publisher: Melville House
Publish Date: April 26, 2011
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Yoani Sánchez is an
unusual dissident: no street protests, no attacks on big politicos, no
calls for revolution. Rather, she produces a simple diary about what it
means to live under the Castro regime: the chronic hunger and the
difficulty of shopping; the art of repairing ancient appliances; and the
struggles of living under a propaganda machine that pushes deep into
public and private life.
For these simple acts of truth-telling
her life is one of constant threat. But she continues on, refusing to be
silenced—a living response to all who have ceased to believe in a
future for Cuba."
My Two Cents:
Real" is a book based on a blog by Yoani Sanchez, an outspoken critic
of the Cuban government. As an American, Cuba has always been this
untouchable place. Being a student of politics and history, I understood
why this was and wondered if I would ever see the relationship between
our countries change. Since this book was written, politics have changed
quite a bit. It remains to be seen what the relationship between our
two countries will be like under the new Presidential administration.
This book is best looked at as a capture of a certain time and place in a
certain Cuba. It gives context to where the country has been as well as
where it may be going.
This book came out in 2011 and is made
up of blogs written before then so some of the information does feel a
bit outdated. This is obviously not the fault of the book but the fault
of the time that I am reading it. Things have certainly changed. This
book is a collection of blogs that Sanchez wrote over a long period of
time and each gives insight into what is going on at the time.
writing of this book is what makes the story. Sanchez is unafraid of
telling the truth without mincing words. At the time she is writing,
that could have easily gotten her in trouble. The blogs are blogs. They
don't necessarily connect to each other and there is no background or
context for them, which made the book feel a bit disjointed and jumpy.
Overall, this was a good collection of glimpses into normal lives of Cubans during the mid-2000s.