Map Drawn By A Spy (Paperback)
Found in an envelope in Guillermo Cabrera Infante's house after his death in 2005, Map Drawn by a Spy is the world-renowned writer's autobiographical account of the last four months he spent in his country. In 1965, following his mother's death, Infante returns to Cuba from Brussels, where he is employed as a cultural attaché at the Cuban embassy. When a few days later his permission to return to Europe is revoked, Infante begins a period of suspicion, uncertainty, and disillusion. Unable to leave the country, denied access to party officials, yet still receiving checks for his work in Belgium, Infante discovers the reality of Cuba under Fidel Castro: imprisonment of homosexuals, silencing of writers, the closing of libraries and newspapers, and the consolidation of power. Both lucid and sincere, Map Drawn by a Spy is a moving portrayal of a fractured society and a writer's struggles to come to terms with his national identity.
About the Author
Winner of the 1997 Cervantes Prize and widely considered one of the foremost Cuban writers of the 20th century, Guillermo Cabrera Infante was the author of five novels, four screenplays, and multiple collections of short stories. Born in the small town of Gibara in 1929, Infante was initially a supporter of the Cuban Revolution and served under Castro as director of the National Board of Culture. After being detained in Cuba for four months in 1968, he spent the rest of his life in exile as a dissident. His most well-known work, Tres Tristes Tigres, labeled as counterrevolutionary by the Cuban government, has been compared to Joyce's Ulysses. Map Drawn by a Spy is the third work by Infante to be published posthumously.
Mark Fried lives in Ottawa, Canada. He is the translator of Eduardo Galeano's Children of the Days, Mirrors, Voices of Time, Upside Down, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, Walking Words, and We Say No. He is also the translator of the historical collection Echoes of the Mexican-American War and works by Severo Sarduy, Emilia Ferreiro, José Ignacio López Vigil, Oscar Ugarteche, and Rafael Barajas Durán.
"A geography of disillusionment. . . Cabrera Infante's tone is quiet and melancholic. . . An exile's plainspoken testimonial, bookending Orwell's Homage to Catalonia in the literature of political disappointment." — Kirkus Reviews
"Completed in the 1960s, soon after Cabrera Infante’s last Cuban interlude, this memoir is an engaging sketch of a midcentury man of letters...It’s also the piercing lament of an exile, who sees his world disappearing even before he departs it." — Publishers Weekly
"This book has greatly moved me, not only due to the fondness I have always felt for Cabrera Infante, but also because of what it reveals about his character, the city of Havana, and the era of the Cuban Revolution ... It is a bare and atrocious testimony of what it means when, gone the euphoria and joy of victory, a revolution transforms into supreme power, that Saturn who sooner or later devours his own children, beginning with those he finds closest, who most often are the greatest." -- Mario Vargas Llosa
"Map Drawn by a Spy contains a resonant lesson about doing everything in our power to avert governments and regimes that insist on the control of goods and services to the detriment of its people." —The Scofield
"To say that I have read Guillermo Cabrera Infante's Map Drawn by a Spy in one sitting, and with great enthusiasm, is to cut myself short." -- Juan Goytisolo, El Pais
"The book reads with the same vertigo as that in which it was written... Map Drawn by a Spy is the intimate cartography of a farewell." -- Juan Bonilla, El Mundo