Caviar with Rum
Cuba-USSR and the Post-Soviet Experience
New Directions in Latino American Cultures
JOSÉ MANUEL PRIETO was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1962. He is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction including the internationally acclaimed Enciclopedia de una vida en Rusia (Encyclopedia of a life in Russia), Livadia (published in English as Nocturnal Butterflies of the Russian Empire), Rex, and El Tartamudo y la rusa (short stories). His Voz humana (Human Voice) is forthcoming. He has been a fellow at The New York Public Library's Center for Scholars and Writers and has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. José Manuel Prieto taught at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica (CIDE) in Mexico City, Cornell University as a Visiting Professor, and at Princeton University as a Distinguished Lecturer. He currently teaches at Seton Hall University.
"A provocative, landmark collection, Caviar with Rum initiates a necessary and timely reckoning with the cultural, ideological, pedagogical, and political reverberations of the three-decade Soviet presence in Cuba. The volume's standout features include the remarkable range of its contributors' geo-cultural standpoints; the wealth of critical, visual, performative, lyrical, narrative, and testimonial materials on which these authors draw; and the implicit critical sensitivity and depth of insight revealed by editors Jacqueline Loss and José Manuel Prieto into the international and local intricacies shaping post-Soviet portrayals of the Cuba-USSR connection."
Vicky Unruh, University of Kansas
"No island is an island, as the case of Cuba and the Russians compellingly demonstrates. Caviar with Rum's trenchant examinations illuminate some of the most significant transnational skeins that messily cross and create revolutionary Cuba. The anthology draws innovatively from many positionings in space/time to express in cultural, political, analytic, and emotive registers a vital range of theoretical concerns, such as nostalgia and power and memory and representation. Offering timely and unique contributions to fields including visual culture and (post-) Soviet studies, Caviar with Rum is a must-read for Soviet and Cuban scholars and non-specialists alike."
Jennifer Hosek, Queen's University
"In Caviar with Rum Jacqueline Loss and Cuban writer José Manuel Prieto have compiled a host of essays from scholars and artists who render vivid for us the lasting effects on Cuban culture of the alliance between Fidel Castro and the Soviet Union. This book will be an important contribution to Cold War and post Cold War studies and a page-turner for anyone interested in revolutionary Cuba."
Anke Birkenmaier, Indiana University, co-editor of Havana beyond the Ruins. Cultural Mappings after 1989
'[This book] is, in the main, an anthology of reflections by Cubans both on and off the island on the degree to which the 30-year alliance between Cuba and the Soviet Union transformed Cuban society and left a legacy that is still very much in evidence two decades after the USSR's demise. The book is an eclectic mix of intensely personal accounts rendered in highly literary fashion and more academic approaches . In recognition of the rather diffuse nature of the contributions, the editors have helpfully allowed for the inclusion of a useful up-to-date chronology of highpoints in the relationship between Cuba and the USSR/Russia . The more formally structured essays I found to be the most revealing about the degree to which the island became 'Sovietized', even in its modes of thinking, as Ariana Hernández Reguant makes clear in her fascinating study of how the Soviet discourse on incentives established an enduring hold. Of all the essays on personal reflections, the one by 'Yoss' most fully succeeds in (rather wittily) relating just how pervasive was the Soviet imprint on a quotidian level .' - Philip Chrimes, International Affairs
'Caviar with Rum embodies [the Soviet] period with an array of engaging essays and short stories, often conjuring complex memories through art, poetry, film, and even cartoons. In many ways the volume also deals with the aftermath, the post-socialist period in which Cuban-Russian cultural memories continue to beckon history. [T]he group of authors anthologized comprise heterogeneity in the widest sense, an array of artists, writers, and scholars that includes Cubans who lived in the USSR, Soviets who lived in Cuba, and others in between whose experience and memories of the period deeply challenge the boundaries of nationality, class, race, and in some cases, gender. They all perform acts of memory with an acute sense of risk, often marked by the fear of falling by the wayside.' - Román de la Campa, Edwin and Lenore Williams Professor of Romance Languages, University of Pennsylvania, USA, Literature and Arts of the Americas