“The Cuban Comedy” by Pablo Medina is both a political satire and historical fiction of the Cuban communist regime in the early 1960s after the Cuban Revolution. The story follows the life of Elena, a poet from the small town of Piedra Negra, who wins a national poetry prize, and abandons her family and young daughter to claim her prize in Havana.
The book’s themes include the role of women in society, creative work versus duty and traditional roles, the absurdity of communism and its attempts to control people/society, love and reasons for marriage, among other things.
This book was a stimulating read as a poet myself, and as a lover of world history. It was another perspective and peek under the curtain of socialist/communist societies of the 20th century exposing its disregard for personal freedoms in favor of the state’s “best” interests.
I highly recommend this book to all lovers of history, poetry, and good fiction.