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Havana is Cuba’s soul: a mix of Third World, First World, and Other World. After over a decade of visits as a teacher, researcher, and friend, Karen Dubinsky looks past political slogans and tourist postcards to the streets, neighbourhoods, and personalities of a complicated and contradictory city. Her affectionate, humorous vignettes illustrate how Havana’s residents—old Communist ladies, their sceptical offspring, musicians, underground vendors, entrepreneurial landlords, and poverty-stricken professors—go about their daily lives.
As Cuba undergoes dramatic change, there is much to appreciate, and learn from, in the unlikely world Cubans have collectively built for themselves.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Queen’s University Student Overseas Travel Fund - The Sonia Enjamio Fund, which funds Cuban/Canadian student exchange
"Cuba beyond the Beach goes beyond boundaries: it’s a carefully composed mixture of travel book, city memoir, and stimulating reflections on a changing Cuba. Dubinsky succeeds in weaving together her astute observations on daily life in Havana with insights from Cuban studies, politics, and culture. This blend succeeds in explaining the bizarre realities of a complicated country in a refreshing way. By bringing Cuban approaches to social problems, such as crime, income inequality, and housing, into dialogue with outside solutions Dubinsky puts things into perspective and evades the all-too-common praise or vilification of socialist Cuba. She shows us that Cuba is neither socialist utopia nor communist hell, but an incubator for ingenuity. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks to better understand this awfully charming country and its people— and actually learn something from them."
– Rainer Schultz, Harvard University, Director of the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad, Cuba-Division, in Havana
Wednesday, October 5 2016
Octopus Books Centretown
251 Bank St. 2nd floor
General Admission: Pay What You Can
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/293349307694149/.
Karen Dubinsky started visiting Cuba in 1978, and has lived in Havana intermittently since 2004. She is a professor in the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University and co-teaches a course in Havana for Queen’s students. She is the author of The Second Greatest Disappointment: Honeymooning and Tourism at Niagara Falls and the co-editor of My Havana: The Musical City of Carlos Varela.