Reinaldo Arenas: 50 years of Celestino

Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990) was one of Cuba’s most important and controversial writers. His debut novel Celestino antes del alba celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Arenas is best known outside the Spanish-speaking world for his posthumously published 1992 autobiography, Antes que anochezca / Before Night Falls (adapted into an award-winning film in 2000 by Julian Schnabel). This documented the horrific persecution he faced under Fidel Castro, both for his openly homosexual lifestyle and for his public antipathy towards the leader’s regime, and his eventual escape to the USA as part of the infamous Mariel Boatlift.

The cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas in France in June, 1988.

Reinaldo Arenas in France in June, 1988. (Photo by Louis MONIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

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Fidel Castro, 1926-2016

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On Friday November 25th, exactly 60 years since he set forth from Mexico on the yacht Granma, one of the most influential, divisive and long-standing public figures of the last century passed away. This year also marked 10 years since Fidel Castro began to step down from his position as president of Cuba, a country he had led for well over half a century. However, his influence and image still loomed large over his country – and world politics in general – in the intervening years and will continue to do so for years to come.

The University Library has always strongly collected material from and about Cuba, especially since the Revolution – in fact, the earliest book that we hold concerning Fidel Castro dates from 1959, the very year that Castro and his rebels finally ousted Fulgencio Batista from power: Fidel Castro: rebel–liberator or dictator? by Jules Dubois (672:45.c.95.2). Continue reading

International Journal of Cuban Studies

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New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : International Journal of Cuban Studies.

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From the JSTOR website for the journal:

International Journal of Cuban Studies is a quarterly, peer-reviewed academic journal providing a publication opportunity for scholarly work on Cuba and related topics… It is published in English (Spanish articles will be translated) by Pluto Journals on behalf of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba.

“The IJCS aims to provide a forum for objective investigation and informed debate on the nature of the Cuban experience: its historical context; its international image and relationships; its scientific, cultural and social achievements; and its future orientation.

“The journal takes a broad view of the emerging and diverging positions held within Cuba and outside. Published worldwide, the journal encourages the exchange of experience and expertise between contributors and readers across continents and between countries.”

Now available to the University of Cambridge electronically from…

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