Selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Ana Menéndezs story collection In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd was hailed by the Timess book critic as "powerful" and "achingly wise." Now, in her first novel, Loving Che, Menéndez delivers an astonishing, intimate portrait of revolutionary Cuba as witnessed by an elderly woman recalling her secret love affair with the worlds most dashing, charismatic rebel, Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
The story opens in contemporary Miami, where for years a young Cuban woman has been searching in vain for details of her birth mother. All she knows of her past is that her grandfather fled the turbulent Havana of the 1960s for Miami with her in tow, and pinned to her sweaterpossibly by her motherwere a few treasured lines of a Pablo Neruda poem. These facts remain her only tenuous links to her history, until a mysterious parcel arrives in the mail. Inside the soft, worn box are layers of writings and photographs. Fitting these pieces together with insights she gleans from several trips back to Havana, the daughter reconstructs the life of her mother, her youthful affair with the enigmatic Che, and the child she bore by the handsome rebel.
Loving Che is a brilliant recapturing of revolutionary Cuba, the changing social mores, the hopes and disappointments, the excitement and terror of the times. It is also an erotic fantasy, a glimpse into the private life of a beloved public figure, and an exquisitely crafted meditation on memory, history, and storytelling. Finally, Loving Che is a triumphant unveiling of how the stories we tell about others ultimately become the story of ourselves....Continua