The Tower of the Antilles


Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Akashic Books
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

Achy Obejas is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ruins, Days of Awe, and three other books of fiction. She edited and translated (into English) the anthology Havana Noir, and has since translated Junot Diaz, Rita Indiana, Wendy Guerra, and many others. In 2014, she was awarded a USA Ford Fellowship for her writing and translation.


"Cuba exists in these pages as a living, organic entity: vibrant andsinewy even in the memories of the citizens who have left it. Obejas reminds her readers that Cuba is no single destination, and that the Cuban imagination is a dense, intricately networked map unto itself. These stories come to life in explorations of sleepy-eyed boys with concupiscent superpowers, of large brown women building towers of boats in the Antilles. 'Is there any real chance you can leave a place?' these stories ask. The answers are multiple and mysterious."
--Caribbean Beat Magazine

"Obejas's use of language is masterful and intimate, deeply felt and projected...The Tower of the Antilles joins a rich store of in-between literature from Cubans over the past half-century, by both those who left and those who stayed. But it rises above this sea of work, claiming a place that is generally less politically wrought, instead depending for its power on a rich unfolding and unexpected tensions. I highly recommend this collection."
--World Literature Today

"These stories will resonate with anyone who feels troublingly nostalgic for their constricting hometown."
--Paper Darts, A Favorite 2017 Small-Press Short Story Collection

"Exile is a murky subject that inevitably calls into question what it means to be Cuban--on and off the island; then, now, and in the future. Obejas came to this country as a refugee and her stories offer a nuanced view of the changes that take place within refugee communities over the course of a prolonged exile. Caught between the United States and Cuba, her characters often feel adrift, caught between nations, diverting cultures and languages. These feelings often manifest in their bodies and in their interactions with others. The Tower of the Antilles reveals the extraordinary power that feelings of instability and in-betweenness arising from the trauma of exile hold over those who leave and those who stay."
--Los Angeles Review of Books

"It's a joy to return to Obejas's work; her prose, crisp, crystalline, and controlled, covering the wide spectrums of anger, desire, longing, and wonder in the face of immigration...Obejas sneaks under the skin, revealing emotions tied up at the dock, cuts the rope, and sets them free. The Tower of the Antilles proves, once again, why Achy Obejas is one of the most important Cuban writers of our time."
--The Miami Rail

"The rich thematic and symbolic texture of much of the collection rewards repeated reading and promises continued insight. How Cuba's distinctive history and culture shape the unique negotiations with identity, memory and the idea of home that complicate the lives of the residents, exiles, and expatriates who populate this volume is a worthy subject indeed."
--Lambda Literary

"This summer is the perfect opportunity to get to know the work of this Cuban-American writer. The stories collected in her new book tell the story of various Cubas--Cuba throughout the ages, Cuba from different perspectives, but always Cuba in all its vibrant, troubled, conflicting beauty."
--Barnes & Noble/B&N Reads, included in"12 Must-Read Indie Books Coming This Summer"

"Obejas has created some of her most unforgettable characters for the 10 stories that make up this latest release."
--Palette Magazine, Miami Herald's LGBTQ magazine

"Floating somewhere between magic realism and brutal reality, Obejas's restless characters are deniers, escapists, adventurers."
--The Booklist Reader

"How can you not be satisfied with this one perfect, delicious thing?"
--The Thread / MPR News, Kathryn Harper's "Ask a Bookseller"

"Obejas's sentences often glisten with sparkling images."
--Sinkhole Magazine

"Captivating...These conflicts of identity, selfhood, and belonging are braided with lush phrasing and a penchant for details and observations."
--Atticus Review

"Obejas presents heartbreaking dramas in the most elegant language...Obejas strung ten story islands together in The Tower of the Antilles to create an archipelago, persuasively articulating the contrast between power and the lack of it--her tales fluently translating the Cuban search for identity."
--Woven Tale Press

"Obejas' deft hand and free-wheeling imagination craft ten stories to be read, then read again out of delight, perplexity, surprise, admiration."
--La Bloga

Recommended title, Fifth Wednesday Journal

"For twenty years I've been a fan of the genius Achy Obejas--since I first read Memory Mambo in 1996. Obejas has been the model of a writer for me in every way--a master in her aesthetics, an inspiration in her politics, fearless and vital in every page. The Tower of the Antilles is another brilliant collection, a story of many Cubas, intensely personal and political, erotic and cerebral. I found myself holding my breath as I devoured this book, as I navigated the various avenues of the body, the blood, and all those seemingly impossible roads that lead to a place we try to call home."
--Porochista Khakpour, author of The Last Illusion

"These stories are like a long dream of many parts, mixed desire, love, longing, anger--Obejas is a master of the human, able to conjure her characters' heartbeats right under your fingertips, their breaths in your ears."
--Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

"Achy Obejas's new story collection begins and ends with a question: what is your name? The answer is an abounding one. Counterrevolutionaries, the witnesses to the arrival of Columbus's caravels, poets, Superman--the characters in these stories, in all their riveting variety, name themselves as Cuban and are bound in complex ways by the geography of their hearts, if not the geography beneath their feet. An audacious and remarkable read!"
--Chantel Acevedo, author of The Distant Marvels

Praise for Achy Obejas:

"Obejas writes like an angel, which is to say: of Cuba's most important writers."
--Junot Diaz