Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Kicked out of Cuba! "When crime fiction is a crime" by K Henkel: Fact and Fiction collide, with serious consequences.

When crime fiction is a crime. Amir Valle's journey from success to exile - a Cuban destiny, by Knut Henkel.

This story from discusses Cuban author Amir Valle, who was forbidden from returning home after attending a Crime Fiction festival in Spain. For those interested in justice and the interplay of politics and free speech, please read this article. It mentions G Cabrera Infante and other writers who have also suffered at the hands of the Cuban government. While I am no fan of the Batista era, with its corruption, US-based organized crime and heavy support from US fruit/sugar companies (see Tres Tristes Tigres, or its translated title Three Trapped Tigers, for some background), that is not to say that Castro's Cuba is paradise, by any means. Being simplistic about world politics may make life simple for politicians, but it rarely helps people. Kudos to P.E.N/Germany for supporting author Valle with a stipend, and to Knut Henkel for writing about this story.

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