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Havana Real

Translated by M.J. Porter

Yoani Sánchez is an unusual dissident: no street protests, no attacks on big politicos, no calls for revolution. Rather, she produces a simple diary about what it means to live under the Castro regime in Cuba: the chronic hunger and the difficulty of shopping; the art of repairing ancient appliances; the struggles of living under a propaganda machine that pushes deep into public and private life. For these simple acts of truth-telling her life is one of constant threat. But she continues on, refusing to be silenced—a living response to all who have ceased to believe in a future for Cuba.

Yoani’s Accepts the 2011
International Women of Courage Award:

YOANI SÁNCHEZ, a University of Havana graduate in philology, emigrated to Switzerland in 2002. Two years later, she decided to return to Cuba, but promised herself she would live there as a free person and started her blog, Generation Y, upon her return. In 2008, Time magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored her with the International Women of Culture Award. She lives in Havana.

”With her vivid portraits of family and friends, including Cuba’s determined dissidents, Yoani Sanchez dissolves the abstractions used to fuse individuals into generic masses. Little wonder that state media have labeled her and her friends ’cyber commandos.’” —Mary Speck, Washington Post

”Speaks for the generation who came of age after the U.S.S.R. collapsed.” —Boston Globe

”Raw Journalism at its best…Enlightening, engaging and brave, this is a must-read for anyone with an interest in Cuba–or for anyone who nurses romantic notions about this tiny, brutal communist state.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

”Other books offer a glance at Cuba still under a Castro, but none can compare with this remarkable diary of a life most can only imagine…unequivocally highly recommended not just just for all who are interested in Cuba today, but for fans of memoir, non-U.S. women’s perspectives, and all who are concerned with human rights.” —Library Journal

”A heckuva writer…A sharp-edged snapshot of life in Cuba.” —Juan Tamayo, The Miami Herald

”She has used technology to promote positive change. She has created an interactive space for the exchange of ideas and free expression. She has given voice to the concerns and aspirations of her fellow citizens…. And so her words, despite her government’s best efforts, are being translated into other languages, are being picked up and spread around because freedom knows no boundaries. And she deserves our thanks for demonstrating that again and again.” —Hillary Clinton

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