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Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today Paperback – April 26, 2011
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Praise for Havana Real
"An important new voice, both literary and political."
—Larry Rohter, New York Times
"Perhaps the greatest hope for Cuba exists in the simple fact that Sanchez, a seriously disillusioned child of the revolution, chooses to stay there and pressure for change from within, while so many others choose to flee."
—Miriam Zoila Perez, Ms. Magazine
"With her vivid portraits of family and friends, including Cuba’s determined dissidents, Yoani Sanchez dissolves the abstractions used to fuse individuals into generic masses. Little wonder that state media have labeled her and her friends 'cyber commandos.'"
—Mary Speck, Washington Post
"Speaks for the generation who came of age after the U.S.S.R. collapsed."
"Raw journalism at its best...Enlightening, engaging and brave, this is a must-read for anyone with an interest in Cuba--or for anyone who nurses romantic notions about this tiny, brutal communist state."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Other books offer a glance at Cuba still under a Castro, but none can compare with this remarkable diary of a life most can only imagine... unequivocally highly recommended not just just for all who are interested in Cuba today, but for fans of memoir, non-U.S. women's perspectives, and all who are concerned with human rights."
"A heckuva writer... A sharp-edged snapshot of life in Cuba."
—Juan Tamayo, The Miami Herald
Praise for Yoani Sánchez
“Under the nose of a regime that has never tolerated dissent, Sánchez has practiced what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot: freedom of speech. . .”
“Ms. Sánchez paints an unflinching, and deeply personal, portrait of the Cuban experience.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Filled with personal observations and sardonic social commentary . . . [Sánchez’s] bleak poetry does not focus overtly on politics, but instead conveys the texture of daily life in a crumbling totalitarian system.”
—The New York Times
“[Sánchez] provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba . . . empower[ing] fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology.”
“What has probably unnerved the regime is not so much her attacks on the Castro brothers as her vivid description of daily life. . . . Where does this woman get her courage?”
—The Washington Post
"She has used technology to promote positive change. She has created an interactive space for the exchange of ideas and free expression. She has given voice to the concerns and aspirations of her fellow citizens…. And so her words, despite her government’s best efforts, are being translated into other languages, are being picked up and spread around because freedom knows no boundaries. And she deserves our thanks for demonstrating that again and again."
About the Author
YOANI SÁNCHEZ, a University of Havana graduate in philology, emigrated to Switzerland in 2002. Two years later, she decided to return to Cuba but promised herself she would live there as a free person and started her blog, Generation Y, upon her return. In 2008, Time magazine named her one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World"; it named Generation Y one of the "Best Blogs of 2009." Spain honored her with its highest award for digital journalism, the Ortega y Gasset Prize. In 2011, Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored her with the International Women of Culture Award. She lives with her husband, independent journalist Reinaldo Escobar, and their son in a high-rise apartment in Havana overlooking Revolution Square.
M.J. PORTER lives in Seattle, where she is a partner in a transportation-consulting firm. She co-founded the cooperative website, HemosOido.com, where volunteers now translate the work of more than thirty Cuban bloggers into English, German, French and Danish.
Top customer reviews
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I would welcome the views and comments of the Cuban exiles who have read this book and/or her blogs (if they can do so without jeopardizing their family interests in Cuba. How accurate are the examples of daily life?
This book is a "best-of" collection of posts from her blog, Generacion Y, from 2007 to 2010. All of the posts found in this book can also be read for free on her blog, and there is very little additional content in this book that is not already on the blog. While it is convenient to have these posts in book form, it would be nice to see new content or commentary. This is the reason Havana Real is four stars instead of five.
Sanchez's posts paint a tragic picture. She describes a lack of freedom and opportunity; abject poverty; degradation of culture; and a loss of imagination and hope. Because the Cuban government does not tolerate political dissent or freedom of speech, Sanchez risks her life in maintaining her blog.
This is especially a must-read for apologists of the Castro administration.