Cuban Blogger Yoani Sánchez on Her Book Havana Real

by Sampsonia Way    /  July 6, 2011  / No comments



Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sánchez is known for her blog Generación Y (Generation Y), which documents the experiences and frustrations of Cuba’s younger generation. Her blog has brought her international attention and prestigious awards, as well as backlash from the Cuban government including surveillance, threats, and even an alleged kidnapping.

This year, Melville House published Sánchez’s new book: Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today. In May the blogger was invited to come to the New York City and participate in a panel about new media in Cuban literature for the ¡Sí Cuba! Festival. Since the Cuban Government doesn’t allow her to leave Cuba, Sánchez recorded a speech addressing the festival which included her reading excerpts from her book Havana Real.

In the video, Sánchez thanks the friends she’s made through the internet. “All the people –located all over the globe- who have not only translated my texts into 20 languages, but also have given me their words of support at the times of greatest difficulty when the long night of censorship hangs over me,” she said.

Read more about Yoani Sánchez in Sampsonia Way

Reviews of Havana Real

“Filled with personal observations and sardonic social commentary . . . [Sánchez’s] bleak poetry does not focus overtly on politics, but instead conveys the texture of daily life in a crumbling totalitarian system.”
—The New York Times

“What has probably unnerved the regime is not so much her attacks on the Castro brothers as her vivid description of daily life. . . . Where does this woman get her courage?”
—The Washington Post

“Provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba… empowers fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology.”
—Barack Obama

“She has used technology to promote positive change. She has created an interactive space for the exchange of ideas and free expression. She has given voice to the concerns and aspirations of her fellow citizens…. And so her words, despite her government’s best efforts, are being translated into other languages, are being picked up and spread around because freedom knows no boundaries. And she deserves our thanks for demonstrating that again and again.”
—Hillary Clinton

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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