The Memory of Silence/Memoria del silencio explores the lives of two sisters separated at the outset of the Cuban Revolution. In 1959, at the age of 18, the twin sisters Lauri and Menchu share a common past, but their lives abruptly take on seemingly irreconcilable differences as Lauri leaves with her groom for Miami and Menchu remains in Havana. For the next forty years, both lead distinct lives in terms of their daily concrete realities yet, often unknowingly, they share common milestones, attitudes, values, and intimate secrets. The text, then, becomes a series of interpolated chronicles, as each alternating chapter recounts one sister’s life and then the other until finally in the present, now reunited, the sisters must confront the pain of the past and as well as the promise of the future. In this poignant novel, presented in a bilingual edition, the underlying theme of reconciliation is a refreshing message and, most importantly, a timely one. A metaphor of a nation and its Diaspora, The Memory of Silence/Memoria del silencio transcends the Cuban reality and becomes a story of universal breadth, a triumph of love and family over distance and politics.
About the Author: Uva de Aragón; translated by Jeffrey C. Barnett
Uva de Aragón (Havana, 1944) has published a dozen books of essays, poetry, short stories, and the novel Memoria del Silencio (2002). Her works have also been translated and appear in textbooks and anthologies such as The Voice of the Turtle, Cuba: A Traveler's Literary Companion, Cubana and Cuban-American Theater. She writes a weekly column for El Nuevo Herald, also blogged at Habanera Soy http://uvadearagon.wordpress.com. De Aragón has merited several literary awards. Until 2011, she was Associate Director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, where she also taught. Dr. de Aragón served for six years as Associate Editor of Cuban Studies, the most important academic journal focusing on Cuba. Her PhD is from the University of Miami. Uva has lived in the United States since 1959; since 1999 she visits Cuba frequently, where her work has also been published. She comes from a family of writers, and has two daughters and four grandsons.
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