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Closed for Repairs: Stories (Lannan Translation Selection (Curbstone Press)) Paperback – July 1, 2007


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Closed for Repairs: Stories (Lannan Translation Selection (Curbstone Press)) + The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World + Latin America: An Interpretive History (9th Edition) (Pearson Custom Library: World History/Meridians)
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Product Details

  • Series: Lannan Translation Selection (Curbstone Press)
  • Paperback: 89 pages
  • Publisher: Curbstone Books; First Edition edition (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931896321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931896320
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 5.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,624,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 11 too-brief, charming tales, Cuban author Alonso gently pokes fun at the irksome living conditions in her home country. In "Caesar," a family starved for the taste of meat-unavailable and prohibitively expensive to the regular workers-decide to raise a pig for slaughter, but become very attached to the clean, well-behaved Caesar. More gruesome is the plight of Berta in "The Test," who prolongs the ulcer that ensures she'll continue to receive the dietary supplement to her food rations. "Mutiny on Board" presents a satisfying revolt by a busload of workers mortally tired of being cheated by the bus drivers and fare collectors on Cojímar's route 58. A gap "like a giant stomach, constantly devouring" garners national attention but little repair in "The Story of a Pothole," while a the couple seeking a new home in "Never Finished" try to navigate the bewildering system of Cuban house trading, permutar. Throughout, Alonso finds a redemptive humor amid privation and heartache.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The resilience of the Cuban people during the economically depressed mid-1990s, the so-called Special Period, is showcased in eleven short stories from Alonso (Casting the First Stone, 1997). Brief vignettes are linked by characters' ingenuity in solving everyday urban troubles, be it lack of water, hazardous potholes, shoddy public transportation, or deficient materials for repairing deteriorating buildings. In the sly "Mutiny on Board," a group of determined citizens spontaneously take over a bus after the driver allows employees to board first. In "Never Finished," a couple considers a move from their old, leaky house, forcing them to contend with the Cuban approach to real estate, which entails a complicated legal process. The result is an amusing, yet stirring, resolution to their increasingly convoluted options. Alonso's sparse prose and absurdist narrative move at a sprightly pace, allowing the keen wit behind the tales to sink in and provoke a thoughtful chortle and create a memorable impression of human resolve. Strauss, Leah

More About the Author

Nancy Alonso (Havana 1949) received her degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Havana in 1972. She served as a professor and researcher at the Medical School of Havana for more than twenty years, two of which were spent as an international partner at the Jimma Institute of Health Sciences in Ethiopia. Currently she works for Boloña Press, in the Office of the Havana Historian. She has published three volumes of short stories: Tirar la primera piedra, Cerrado por reparación, (translated into English by Anne Fountain as Closed for Repairs) and Desencuentro. Some of her works appear in anthologies in Cuba as well as the United States and Europe. She is the editor, along with Grisel Terrón, of Epistolario de Emilio Roig (Collected Epistolary of Emilio Roig), Havana's first official historian. Forthcoming is a volume co-authored with Mirta Yáñez titled "Damas de Social: Intelectuales cubanas en la revista Social" (Social Ladies: Cuban Intellectuals in Social Magazine). Alonso is at work on her fourth book of short stories.

Nancy Alonso (La Habana, 1949). Graduada en Ciencias Biológicas (Universidad de La Habana, 1972). Profesora e investigadora de la Universidad Médica de La Habana durante más de veinte años, de ellos dos como cooperante internacionalista en el Jimma Institute of Health Sciences, Etiopía. Actualmente labora en Ediciones Boloña, de la Oficina del Historiador de La Habana. Libros de cuentos publicados: Tirar la primera piedra, Cerrado por reparación, (traducido al inglés por Anne Fountain, Closed for Repairs) y Desencuentro. Algunas de sus narraciones aparecen en antologías tanto en Cuba como en Eó.UU. y Europa. Es compiladora, en colaboración con Grisel Terrón, del Epistolario de Emilio Roig, primer historiador de La Habana. Tiene en proceso editorial, junto con Mirta Yáñez, "Damas de Social: Intelectuales cubanas en la revista Social," y en preparación su cuarto libro de cuentos.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Owen on August 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
What great translations for such wonderful stories!
D.E.O., Parkland College
Champaign, IL
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. O'Brien on July 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Nancy Alonso's wit, insight and description of the challenges facing the Cuban people today resonantes those who have family and friends living in Cubas today as well as those who care about Cuba. The translation reads so well, it is sometimes feels like one is standing in the sidelines of the stories. What a wonderful series of vignettes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. James on July 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful collection of stories from contemporary Cuba, both uniquely Cuban yet accessible to anyone. I highly recommend this work and hope that more of Alonso's stories will be translated into English.
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