Telex from Cuba: A Novel

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jul 1, 2008 - Fiction - 322 pages
19 Reviews
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.

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.

In Havana, a thousand kilometers and a world away from the American colony, a cabaret dancer meets a French agitator named Christian de La Mazière, whose seductive demeanor can't mask his shameful past. Together they become enmeshed in the brewing political underground. When Fidel and Raúl 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.

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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
6
3 stars
7
2 stars
1
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hemlokgang - LibraryThing

This debut novel presented a bit of a conundrum for me. Set in Cuba during the Prio, then Batista regimes, right up to the revolution led by the Castros, the novel chronicles the politics, the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Dabble58 - LibraryThing

Picked up this book from the library to get some atmosphere for a book I am writing that involves Cuba. Perhaps it's just me, but I couldn't finish it. I loved the description of the life in Cuba ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
5
Section 3
33
Section 4
40
Section 5
54
Section 6
67
Section 7
72
Section 8
93
Section 17
191
Section 18
210
Section 19
211
Section 20
223
Section 21
246
Section 22
257
Section 23
263
Section 24
264

Section 9
101
Section 10
121
Section 11
127
Section 12
144
Section 13
149
Section 14
150
Section 15
158
Section 16
165
Section 25
270
Section 26
274
Section 27
286
Section 28
298
Section 29
301
Section 30
307
Section 31
319
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Rachel Kushner’s debut novel, Telex from Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book. The Flamethrowers, received rave reviews across the country, and Kushner was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Believer, Artforum, Bookforum, Fence, Bomb, Cabinet, and Grand Street. She lives in Los Angeles.

Bibliographic information