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Telex from Cuba

by

Telex from Cuba Cover

ISBN13: 9781416561033
ISBN10: 141656103x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An astonishingly wise, ambitious, and riveting first novel set in the American community in Cuba during the years leading to Castro's revolution, this masterful debut will put Rachel Kushner on the map of American fiction.

Rachel Kushner's mother grew up in Cuba in the 1950s, in the United Fruit Company enclave where Telex from Cuba takes place. Calling on a rich trove of family letters, photos, meticulously kept journals, and historical research, Kushner sets free her brilliant imagination in this profoundly resonant story of a world that was paradise for a time and for a few.

For half a century, Americans controlled Cuba's sugar and nickel operations — the country's two most lucrative exports. Between the United Fruit Company's three-hundred-thousand-acre plantation and the nearby Nicaro nickel mines, Americans tended their own fiefdom in Cuba's Oriente Province. Everly Lederer and K. C. Stites come of age in this world. Each has a keen eye for the indulgences and betrayals of the grown-ups around them. Meanwhile, in faraway Havana, a cabaret dancer and a French agitator with a shameful past become enmeshed in the brewing political underground. When Fidel and Raúl Castro lead a revolt from the mountains just above the Americans' privileged enclave, torching sugarcane fields and recruiting rebels, K.C. and Everly begin to discover the complexities of class and race and the barely disguised brutality that keeps the colony humming. If their parents seem blissfully untouched by the forces of history, the children hear the whispers of what's to come, as Kushner deftly merges the rural and urban dramas.

At the time, urgent news was conveyed by telex. Kushner's first novel is a tour de force, haunting and compelling, with the urgency of a telex from a forgotten time and place.

Review:

Wonderful reviews have been coming thick and fast for "Telex From Cuba," and they're more than well deserved. This first novel by Rachel Kushner is a pure treat from the cover to the very last page. It's the kind of thing you should stock up on to give sick friends as presents; they'll forget their arthritis and pneumonia, I promise, once they walk into a land that's gone now, but not yet quite forgotten:... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Soundly researched and gorgeously written, the creative story also serves as a history lesson. An imaginative work that brings Cuban-American history to life." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"Kushner has written a gripping tale of what it was like to live through a momentous time. It is a powerful, haunting look at the human side of revolution." Booklist

Review:

"This first novel by Rachel Kushner is a pure treat from the cover to the very last page. It's the kind of thing you should stock up on to give sick friends as presents....Rachel Kushner uses her considerable powers to bring [this world] back for us, one last time." Carolyn See, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"As a portrait of the 'other' 1950s Cuba, this novel is a departure from most others of its kind. Emphatically 'American' in its point of view and story, Telex offers a glimpse of how American executives and their families lived in Cuba during that crucial epoch of change, and, as such, will offer readers a refreshingly eye-opening account of what went on behind the corporate scenes and in the back rooms of power." Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love and A Simple Habana Melody

Review:

"Telex From Cuba is a prodigious work, sparking into life throughout its pages, beautifully balanced in its views of plantation society and the revolutionary force that ultimately overthrows it, written without bombast or self-referring language, as if the writer is so intent on the people she portrays, she writes of them with a kind of rare innocence, the innocence of the true observer who submits to the power of the tale she tells." Paula Fox, author of The Coldest Winter

Review:

"Imagination and intelligence luxuriate in Rachel Kushner's fascinating first novel. I marvel at how Kushner blends psychological and political realities, corporate America and insurgent Cuba, into a vivid diptych of the days before Castro's revolution. Rich in compelling characters and historical events, Telex From Cuba is a revelatory, tenderhearted, and powerful work." Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, A Comedy

Review:

"Through the eyes of the innocent and those that are world weary, Rachel Kushner creates a mesmerizing and deeply intelligent tale of the unraveling of the privileged and at times surreal life of Americans in Cuba in the 1950s. Telex From Cuba is a heady and richly imagined tapestry." Lisa Fugard, author of Skinner's Drift

Review:

"Telex From Cuba exerts the mysterious pull of a super-saturated postcard from a distant land, sent to you by a stranger. Kushner brilliantly transforms her family history — and history — into a page-turning, elegantly intelligent, and politically enlightening novel that rings as true as anything. Hers is an epic achievement." Heidi Julavits, author of The Uses of Enchantment

Synopsis:

Rachel Kushner has written an astonishingly wise, ambitious, and riveting novel set in the American community in Cuba during the years leading up to Castro's revolution — a place that was a paradise for a time and for a few. The first novel to tell the story of the Americans who were driven out in 1958, this is a masterful debut. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Young Everly Lederer and K. C. Stites come of age in Oriente Province, where the Americans tend their own fiefdom — three hundred thousand acres of United Fruit Company sugarcane that surround their gated enclave. If the rural tropics are a child's dreamworld, Everly and K.C. nevertheless have keen eyes for the indulgences and betrayals of the grown-ups around them — the mordant drinking and illicit loves, the race hierarchies and violence. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; In Havana, a thousand kilometers and a world away from the American colony, a cabaret dancer meets a French agitator named Christian de La Maziand#232;re, whose seductive demeanor can't mask his shameful past. Together they become enmeshed in the brewing political underground. When Fidel and Raand#250;l Castro lead a revolt from the mountains above the cane plantation, torching the sugar and kidnapping a boat full of "yanqui" revelers, K.C. and Everly begin to discover the brutality that keeps the colony humming. Though their parents remain blissfully untouched by the forces of history, the children hear the whispers of what is to come. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; At the time, urgent news was conveyed by telex. Kushner's first novel is a tour de force, haunting and compelling, with the urgency of a telex from a forgotten time and place.

About the Author

Rachel Kushner was an editor at Grand Street and Bomb and now coedits Soft Targets. A frequent contributor to Artforum, she has a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from Columbia University. She lives in Los Angeles.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

newskid23, September 28, 2008 (view all comments by newskid23)
Telex from Cuba is a fascinating historical novel that tells the story of an American corporate enclave in Cuba just before the revolution. The story is told through the voices of several adolescent American children, an arms dealer and a prostitute to the rich and famous. The attention to historical detail adds depth and richness to a well-crafted tale of class, race and politics. A great read!
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(7 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416561033
Author:
Kushner, Rachel
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
History
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Cuba History 1933-1959.
Subject:
Americans - Cuba
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
national book award, best of 2008, the flamethrowers, oscar hijuelos, lynne tillman, lisa fugard, heidi julavits, junot diaz, fidel castro, batista, cuban revolution, united fruit, chiquita, sugar plantation, red brigades, futurism, new York art scene, so
Subject:
national book award, best of 2008, the flamethrowers, oscar hijuelos, lynne tillman, lisa fugard, heidi julavits, junot diaz, fidel castro, batista, cuban revolution, united fruit, chiquita, sugar plantation, red brigades, futurism, new York art scene, so
Subject:
national book award, best of 2008, the flamethrowers, oscar hijuelos, lynne tillman, lisa fugard, heidi julavits, junot diaz, fidel castro, batista, cuban revolution, united fruit, chiquita, sugar plantation, red brigades, futurism, new York art scene, so
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
July 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 map
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Telex from Cuba Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781416561033 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Soundly researched and gorgeously written, the creative story also serves as a history lesson. An imaginative work that brings Cuban-American history to life."
"Review" by , "Kushner has written a gripping tale of what it was like to live through a momentous time. It is a powerful, haunting look at the human side of revolution."
"Review" by , "This first novel by Rachel Kushner is a pure treat from the cover to the very last page. It's the kind of thing you should stock up on to give sick friends as presents....Rachel Kushner uses her considerable powers to bring [this world] back for us, one last time."
"Review" by , "As a portrait of the 'other' 1950s Cuba, this novel is a departure from most others of its kind. Emphatically 'American' in its point of view and story, Telex offers a glimpse of how American executives and their families lived in Cuba during that crucial epoch of change, and, as such, will offer readers a refreshingly eye-opening account of what went on behind the corporate scenes and in the back rooms of power."
"Review" by , "Telex From Cuba is a prodigious work, sparking into life throughout its pages, beautifully balanced in its views of plantation society and the revolutionary force that ultimately overthrows it, written without bombast or self-referring language, as if the writer is so intent on the people she portrays, she writes of them with a kind of rare innocence, the innocence of the true observer who submits to the power of the tale she tells."
"Review" by , "Imagination and intelligence luxuriate in Rachel Kushner's fascinating first novel. I marvel at how Kushner blends psychological and political realities, corporate America and insurgent Cuba, into a vivid diptych of the days before Castro's revolution. Rich in compelling characters and historical events, Telex From Cuba is a revelatory, tenderhearted, and powerful work."
"Review" by , "Through the eyes of the innocent and those that are world weary, Rachel Kushner creates a mesmerizing and deeply intelligent tale of the unraveling of the privileged and at times surreal life of Americans in Cuba in the 1950s. Telex From Cuba is a heady and richly imagined tapestry."
"Review" by , "Telex From Cuba exerts the mysterious pull of a super-saturated postcard from a distant land, sent to you by a stranger. Kushner brilliantly transforms her family history — and history — into a page-turning, elegantly intelligent, and politically enlightening novel that rings as true as anything. Hers is an epic achievement."
"Synopsis" by , Rachel Kushner has written an astonishingly wise, ambitious, and riveting novel set in the American community in Cuba during the years leading up to Castro's revolution — a place that was a paradise for a time and for a few. The first novel to tell the story of the Americans who were driven out in 1958, this is a masterful debut. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Young Everly Lederer and K. C. Stites come of age in Oriente Province, where the Americans tend their own fiefdom — three hundred thousand acres of United Fruit Company sugarcane that surround their gated enclave. If the rural tropics are a child's dreamworld, Everly and K.C. nevertheless have keen eyes for the indulgences and betrayals of the grown-ups around them — the mordant drinking and illicit loves, the race hierarchies and violence. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; In Havana, a thousand kilometers and a world away from the American colony, a cabaret dancer meets a French agitator named Christian de La Maziand#232;re, whose seductive demeanor can't mask his shameful past. Together they become enmeshed in the brewing political underground. When Fidel and Raand#250;l Castro lead a revolt from the mountains above the cane plantation, torching the sugar and kidnapping a boat full of "yanqui" revelers, K.C. and Everly begin to discover the brutality that keeps the colony humming. Though their parents remain blissfully untouched by the forces of history, the children hear the whispers of what is to come. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; At the time, urgent news was conveyed by telex. Kushner's first novel is a tour de force, haunting and compelling, with the urgency of a telex from a forgotten time and place.
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