Breathe : Stories from Cuba

3.84 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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Breathe is a collection that explores the heart of Fidel Castro-era Cuba; an outsider's look that is balanced by a weight of empathy to illuminate truths that lie couched between the island's propaganda and the Western media's portrayal. Characters from Europe and the USA in Swimming, Taxi and Sabbatical seem to want to hold on to the indulgences that their countries offer them, while praising Cubans for the more abstemious lives they lead and seeking to sample what the locals experience; in Siempre Luchando, I Never See Them Cry and The Party, romantic liaisons strengthen or buckle under the strain of the minute exploitations that result from the assumptions one makes about the other; the seedy sexual aggression of Luca's Trip to Havana is undercut by the subtle yet intense lust of Breathe; while Leaving Cuba, with its closing image of Havana's night sky, is as eloquently balanced a tale of the lives of everyday Cubans as you will read in a long while - whichever path one takes, something is lost.
As Aida Bahr, winner of Cuba's Premio de la Critica Literaria says, "relying more on subtleties than on drama, [Segal] portrays the tensions and struggles, but also the joy and warmth, that fill Cubans' lives."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 130 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 7.87mm | 149.69g
  • Lubin & Kleyner
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0954157052
  • 9780954157050
  • 815,648

Review quote

'[A] frank and wonderfully observed collection of short stories.' - Jacob Ross; 'Beautifully written stories with a rare truthfulness to them.' - Hinrich von Haaren; 'Crisp, attentive and lyrical prose - a compelling portrait of Cuba.' - Karen McCarthy Woolf; 'Segal cares deeply about language, artfully blends poetry and story, and, above all, makes you feel.' - Niki Aguirre
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About Leila Segal

Leila Segal is a poet, advocate and photographer. She lived in Havana and the Pinar del Rio province of Cuba for a significant period, during which her craft as a short story writer began to take shape. Her short stories have been published in Wasafiri Magazine, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Loose Muse, Mima'amakim and Papeles de la Mancuspia.
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Rating details

19 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 32% (6)
4 26% (5)
3 37% (7)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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