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College of Arts & Sciences
The Open Book


Cristina García

King of Cuba

El Comandante, an aging Castro-like dictator shambles about his mansion in Havana, visits a dying friend, tortures hunger strikers, and grapples with the stale end of his life that is as devoid of grandeur as his nearly sixty-year-old revolution. Across the waters in Florida, Goyo Herrera, a Miami exile in his eighties, plots revenge against his longtime enemy—the very same El Comandante—whom he blames for stealing his beloved, ruining his homeland, and taking his father’s life. Shifting between the two men with great resonance and humor, and peppered with other Cuban voices to create a patchwork of history’s unofficial stories, García’s novel plumbs the passions and realities of these two Cubas—on the island, and off. Cristina García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fourteen languages. Author of six other novels as well as works in other genres, she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA grant. Though it's difficult to name García’s finest work, King of Cuba is her greatest contribution to our understanding of twentieth-century Cuban history and what it means for this century.

Monday, April 2: Talk on King of Cuba
Wednesday, April 4: Cristina García visits
Cristina García
2018