Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Voice of the Turtle

An Anthology of Cuban Stories

by Peter Bush

“This polymorphic collection demonstrates a variety of styles (agrarian myth, beach-lit erotica, heretic surrealism, urban drollery) and a range of settings (plantation, mountain, Miami airport, Vatican City) which show both the richness of the island landscape and the extent of the Cuban diaspora.” –The New Yorker

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 400
  • Publication Date April 02, 1998
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3555-1
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $14.00

About The Book

Cuba’s history of political upheaval and diverse ethnic heritage have been a source of inspiration for a remarkable body of literature in the twentieth century; however, this work has remained largely undiscovered by American readers. Now, in this rich anthology of Cuban writers, the work of such legends as Reinaldo Arenas, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, and Calvert Casey is juxtaposed with that of a younger generation of writers such as Senel Paz, Zoé Valdís, and Jesús Vega to create a rich portrait of modern Cuban literature.

The Voice of the Turtle showcases a variety of styles – from Cabrera Infante’s updated Aesop’s fable in the title story, to the lush creation myth of Lydia Cabrera’s “Daddy Turtle and Daddy Tiger”– from the magic-realist “The Night the Dead Rose from the Grave” by Lino Nov’s Calvo, to Alfonso Hernández Catá’s tale of war and heroism among the meek, “I Sent Quinine.” The writers collected here draw on many styles – Cuba’s rich storytelling tradition, Kafka and Joyce, the best of post-modern fiction – and their stories range from the political to the personal, deeply influenced by their embedded homeland or their experiences of exile. As diverse and fascinating as Cuba itself, The Voice of the Turtle is the definitive anthology of Cuban fiction from this century.

Includes:
Octavio Armand, “Prologue: Poetry As Eruv
Alfonso Hernández Catá, “I Sent Quinine”
Lino Novás Calvo, “The Night the Dead Rose from the Grave”
Luis Felipe Rodríguez, “Lucumi Dance”
Lydia Cabrera, “Daddy Turtle and Daddy Tiger”
José Lezama Lima, “Truants’
Carlos Montenegro, “Twelve Real Beauties’
Virgilio Piñera, “A Conciliar Discourse”
Félix Rodriguez, “Tobias”
Calvert Casey, “A Taste of Love”
Edmundo Desnoes, “Where I Stand”
Pedro Pérez Sarduy, “The Seven Dead Seasons”
Antonio Benitéz Rojo, “Buried Statues”
Onelio Jorge Cardoso, “A Cheese for Nobody”
Lourdes Casal, “The Founders: Alfonso”
Reinaldo Arenas, “Traitor”
Mirta Yañez, “Split in Two’
Uva de Aragón, “Round Trip”
Rolando Sánchez Mejías, “Threshold”
Roberto Uría, “Why Is Leslie Caron Crying?”
Guillermo Cabrera Infante, “The Voice of the Turtle”
Ricardo Arrieta, “Someone’s Got It All Licked”
Senel Pax, “Don’t Tell Her That You Love Her, Love Scene with Paul McCartney at the Window”
Angel Santiesteban, “South Latitude 13”
Carlos Victoria, “Shadows on the Beach”
Fernando Villaverde, “The Recruit”
Jorge Luis Arzola, “Prisoner in the Horizon’s Circle”
Zoé Valdís, “The Ivory Trader and the Red Melons’
Jesús Vega, “Wunderbar”
Marilyn Bobes, “Ask the Good Lord”
Severo Sarduy, “Epilogue: Explosion of Emptiness’

Praise

“This polymorphic collection demonstrates a variety of styles (agrarian myth, beach-lit erotica, heretic surrealism, urban drollery) and a range of settings (plantation, mountain, Miami airport, Vatican City) which show both the richness of the island landscape and the extent of the Cuban diaspora.” –The New Yorker

“With 30 stories, The Voice of the Turtle offers a generous, everybody-get-on-the-bus approach to Cuban fiction. Stories from the turn of the last century sit comfortably next to Communist era tales shyly disguised as absurdist drama, unabashedly romantic love stories and disaffected narratives of our own fin de siecle generation. The sheer variety makes The Voice of the Turtle a good primer for readers new to Cuban fiction.” –Philip Herter, St. Petersberg Times

“The most astonishing feature of this anthology is the dazzling breadth and variety of forms and styles employed. The sheer inventiveness of these stories would be noteworthy in any national literature, but the fact that these stories all originate on one small Caribbean island is stunning.” –Caryl Phillips, Bomb

“A rare insight into the state of the 20th-century Cuban psyche.” –Library Journal

“For a small nation, Cuba has produced an abundance of literary talent. This robust volume testifies to its literary vitality with the works of 31 writers spanning more than 70 years. Stories are graced by range of virtues, from the erudite, rolling prose of José Lezama Lima to the lusty feminism of Zoé Valdís, and the roster includes many names that will be less familiar to American readers.” –Publishers Weekly

“An impressive collection . . . vigorously representative of this embattled island country’s experience of civil war, economic and social upheaval, the Castro revolution, and its intellectuals’ embrace of exile. . . . Authoritative and indispensable.” –Kirkus