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Teresa Bevin

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Havana Split
by Teresa Bevin   

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Books by Teresa Bevin
· Papaya Suite
· Dreams and Other Ailments/Sueños y otros achaques
· Tina Springs into Summer / Tina se lanza al verano
                >> View all


Literary Fiction

Publisher:  Arte Publico Press ISBN-10:  1558852298 Type: 


Copyright:  Apr 1 1998

As a teenaged girl, Lara Canedo was torn from her roots when she was compelled to leave her native Havana as one of thousands of Cuban refugees in the late 1960s. Lara now finds herself returning home--but to a dilapidated capital that no longer resembles the vibrant metropolis she left behind so long ago.

Arte Publico Press

This is a story of coming home: The unsuspected secrets Lara uncovers about her extended family...The secrets that she herself reveals to long-missed friends and acquaintances... And the culture shock that, ironically, she experiences in confronting her own sadly changed native land. In polished, meditative prose, without ever descending into polemics, "Havana Split" dispassionately lays open the repression and homophobia of the Castro regime, with its strange mixture of machismo and "revoluntionary morality." At the same time, however, it shows us a disenchanted woman rediscovering the imaginative, high-spirited young girl who disappeared sometwhere in the shadows of exile. For in journeying from the present into the past, Lara finds her spirit revitalized and realizes that to remember means to acknowledge and allows her to create a healing unity within. 


As we tried not to think how ephemeral our joy was now, the way we held hands as we walked felt natural and comfortable, as if time had never passed. I enjoyed being guided by Osvaldo. I observed his profile, reliving our youth, and remembering our dreams. We had planned to be married when "things went back to normal." But life for us was never to be normal again, as our own definition of "normal" would deteriorate progressively.

We couldn't have said then that we lived in fear, because in our youth, we adapted easily and were cheerful in our school routine and our camaraderie. But in contrast to my experiences abroad, I later came to realize to what point fear was never absent in Cuba. It became a permanent life condition, like dust. It came uninvited to settle over everything.

Copyright 1998 Teresa Bevin.

Professional Reviews

A Spirited First Novel
"Bevin's spirited first novel tells of Lara Canedo, a Cuban who left her homeland for Spain as a child at her mother's insistence. Twenty years later, in 1991, Lara returns to Cuba to rediscover the family members she left behind and gain an understanding of her parents' ambiguous relationship. With this healing knowledge she unites her present with her past and comes to terms with her sexual identity. Bevin reveals an astonishingly refreshing ability to write a fictional account of a Cuban exile's life that is personal without being painfully passionate. Her sparkling prose portrays people from all sides of Cuban politics with dignity. This tale of self-discovery is highly recommended for all collections." --Carolyn Ellis Gonzalez, University of Texas at San Antonio Library.

Haunted Memories
"... Havana Split demonstrates a keen awareness of the Cuban exiles' haunted memories and their desire for reconciliation. The novel's acuity is apparent in Bevin's vivid descriptions of Lara's pre- and post-revolutionary Cuban life--from her aunt's ritualistic 'blood red lipstick' kiss to the chaotic scenes in the Miami Airport. Likewise, Bevin's bold decision to write a lesbian character provides important insight into Cuba's virulent strain of homophobia, resulting in the gay community's resourceful, yet troubling, response.... The novel thus dramatizes the revolution's personal devastation."-- Beatriz Valdés, Clark University.

A Great Summer Read
"...A moving tale of one woman's search for the child she once was and and powerful affirmation that although you sometimes can go home again, airfare is not the only price you pay." --Margaria Fichtner, Miami Herald

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Books by
Teresa Bevin

Papaya Suite

Havana Split

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Dreams and Other Ailments/Sueños y otros achaques

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Amazon, more..

Tina Springs into Summer / Tina se lanza al verano

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

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