Cuban Heels with Twisting Tongues

Salman Rushdie

  • Three Trapped Tigers by G. Cabrera Infante
    Picador, 487 pp, £2.95, August 1980, ISBN 0 330 26133 9

Cuba in 1961. The magazine Lunes de Revolution protests against the censorship of PM, a film about a black woman who sings boleros in Havana’s nighttown. The magazine is closed down forthwith, by that very revolution whose Mondays its title salutes. Lunes’ editor is a 32-year-old writer named Guillermo Cabrera Infante, and the director of the film is his brother, Saba Cabrera. Time-dissolve: four years pass. In 1965, Cabrera Infante, now Cuban Cultural Attaché in Belgium, is sacked (no reason given). Soon afterwards he leaves Cuba for good. Jump-cut to the present. Cabrera Infante is now living in London, almost completely ignored, like Elias Canetti before him, by the capital’s lovers of literature: however, his acclaimed novel Three Trapped Tigers has at last been published in England; a mere 13 years after its completion. In paperback, too: a snip at under three pounds. Hurry while stocks last.

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