“Es Cuba transcend[s] the easy bounds of non-fiction lite [because of] the intellectual depth of the narrator’s self-discovery. [It] convey[s] the raw emotions and tangled web of Cuban reality in ways that not only break with traditional foreign-policy perspectives but with the easy-to-digest cliches that often characterize cultural studies of Cuban society…[A] welcome and exciting example of [a] personally engaged account of Cuba.”
—The Chicago Tribune
“[Aschkenas] learns that there are two Cubas. There’s the one tourists see from their hotels…And then there’s the one experienced by locals, where survival requires inventiveness and a flexible view of the law…The young Cuban Aschkenas meets, loves and eventually marries is, like his country, a bundle of contradictions….Together they try to move between the two Cubas, but sometimes their patience is tested beyond its tensile strength. All the better for the reader, who learns about Cuba from their struggles in it.”
—The Washington Post
“Aschkenas is never content to accept the superficial…woven in [to her writing] are keen insights, simply expressed.”
—The San Francisco Chronicle
“This is a remarkably sensitive and clear-eyed look at the complex realities of people’s lives in a country caught between communism and capitalism.”
—The Globe and Mail
“A fascinating book about loving and living in post-Soviet Cuba.”
—The Tampa Tribune
“[An] intimate, detailed memoir of 10 months spent exploring life in Cuba.”
“The author tells an engrossing story that weaves the history and culture of the people…a beautiful tale.”
“Es Cuba is a captivating love story as well as a detailed and perceptive tribute to the resilience of a people.”
How refreshing to read Lea Aschkenas on Cuba! Forget the bitter ravings of the old exiles in Miami, the silly romances of generations of American lefties, the lurid macho tales from almost fifty years of travel writing about the Island and Revolution. No posing here, just a profound, moving honesty: Aschkenas has written a clear-eyed ode not just to Cuba, but to women and men, to the possibility of love across impossible frontiers.
—Ruben Martinez, author of Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail
A story of true love for a country, a culture, and a man, told with grace and insight. It’s both sad and uplifting, and will leave you rooting for the millions of people who have been victimized by the strange, anachronistic politics of U.S.-Cuba relations.
—Larry Habegger, Executive Editor, Travelers’ Tales
In Es Cuba, Lea Aschkenas discovers that love can triumph in the most unlikely places, that amor cannot be embargoed, and that travel has its reward in the heart.
—Tom Miller, author of Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro’s Cuba
An unflinching, unsentimental journey, both physical and emotional…This is a wonderful book, by a very promising young writer.
—Achy Obejas, author of We Came All The Way From Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?
A beautiful story…told with gentle compassion for a culture and country. I would have finished it in one sitting but for it being the wee hours of the morning.
—Christopher Baker, author of Cuba Handbook