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Havana: A Subtropical Delirium
By Mark Kurlansky
A city of tropical heat, ramshackle beauty, sweat and its very own cadence–a city that always surprises–Havana is brought to pulsing life by New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky.
The author Mark Kurlansky presents an insider’s view of Havana: the elegant, tattered city he has come to know over more than 30 years. Part cultural history, part travelogue, photographs, historic engravings, with recipes, and Kurlansky’s own pen-and-ink drawings throughout, Havana celebrates the city’s singular music, baseball, literature, and food; its five centuries of outstanding, neglected architecture; and its extraordinary blend of cultures.
Like all great cities, Havana has a rich history that informs the vibrant place it is today–from the native Taino to Columbus’s landing, from Cuba’s status as a U.S. protectorate to Batista’s dictatorship and Castro’s revolution, from Soviet presence to the welcoming of capitalist tourism.
Havana is a place of extremes: a beautifully restored colonial city whose cobblestone streets pass through areas that have not been painted or repaired since long before the revolution.
Mark Kurlansky shows Havana through the eyes of Cuban writers, such as José Martí and Alejo Carpentier, and foreigners, including Graham Greene and Hemingway. He introduces us to Cuban baseball and its highly opinionated fans; the city’s music scene, alive with the rhythm of Son; its culinary legacy.
Through the author Mark Kurlansky’s multilayered and electrifying portrait, the long-elusive city of Havana comes stirringly to life.