Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed, award-winning novelist, poet, and translator PABLO MEDINA for a discussion of his latest book, The Cuban Comedy: A Novel. He will be joined by celebrated local writer ALICE HOFFMAN, author of Practical Magic.
Piedra Negra is an isolated village, whose citizens consist mainly of soldiers injured in the revolution who pass the time drinking a firewater so intense that all hallucinate, and most never recover. The firewater distiller’s daughter, Elena, longs to be a poet, and after a chance encounter with Daniel Arcilla, Cuba’s most important poet, Elena wins a national poetry prize and leaves Piedra Negra behind for Havana.
There she encounters a population adjusting to a new way of life, post-revolution: there are spies and secret meetings, black marketeers, and censorship. Full of outlandish humor and insights into an often contradictory and Kafkaesque regime, Medina brings 1960s Cuba to life through the eyes of Elena.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.