I’ve read my share of political works on Cuba and the revolution, however, not as much on day-to-day life in contemporary Havana. So when I came across Mylene Fernandez-Pintado’s A Corner of the World, while wandering the City Lights bookstore after work one evening, I was immediately intrigued.
The short novel deals with the question “Do I stay or do I go?” It’s centered around Spanish literature professor Marian and her her relationship with a young first-time novelist, Daniel, who’s ambitions reach beyond the island Marian is resolved to stay on.
What I enjoyed the most about this novel is that there isn’t cataclysmic events or a huge climax – rather it’s a beautifully written and realistic portrayal of life. It’s filled with the very real emotions of complacency, melancholy, hope, love and lust. The struggle of finding and losing love plays nicely into the way Pintado deals with the struggles the main characters have with their love/hate relationship of their home country. It’s also a glimpse into a life in Havana that we don’t see very often.
A short and interesting read.