Friday, March 6, 2009

Top 10 Cuban Novels

Leonardo Padura, author of The Havana Quartet (translated by Peter Bush) has annointed the top 10 Cuban novels. The Guardian reports that Padura's list "looks beyond the Cuba we think we know to introduce some of the island's more hidden literary treasures." Many of Padura's top 10 are available in English translations (and two were written in English). Here's the list, but the summaries of each work included in the Guardian article are worth reading:
  • Explosion in a Cathedral (El siglo de las luces) by Alejo Carpentier (1962, trans. John Sturrock)
  • Cecilia Valdés Or El Angel Hill (Cecilia Valdés) by Cirilo Villaverde (1882, trans. Helen Lane)
  • Three Trapped Tigers (Tres tristes tigres) by Guillermo Cabrera Infante (1967, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Donald Gardner)
  • Paradiso by José Lezama Lima (1974, trans. Gregory Rabassa)
  • The Lost Steps (Los pasos perdidos) by Alejo Carpentier (1953, trans. Harriet de Onís)
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (1952, in English)
  • Temporada de ángeles, Lisandro Otero (1983, not translated)
  • The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1989), Óscar Hijuelos; in English
  • Before Night Falls (Antes que anochezca) by Reinaldo Arenas (1990, trans. Dolores M. Koch (1993))
  • El negrero by Lino Novás Calvo (1933, not translated)

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