The presentation of the book by Cuban journalist and writer Carlos Manuel Alvarez was held at the headquarters of the magazine Anfibia with an interview by Cristian Alarcón.
Mario Greco, Executive Director of Anfibia and Director of the Lectura Mundi program at the University of San Martín, gave the opening remarks at the event.
Carlos Manuel Álvarez and Cristian Alarcón during the presentation of the book “La Tribu: Retratos de Cuba.”
The book chronicles life in Cuba that Carlos Manuel Álvarez documented between 2014 and 2016, during the time that Cuba re-established relations with the United States until the death of Fidel Castro. The author was featured as one of the best writers under age 40 on the Bogotá 39-2017 list during the Hay Festival Cartagena.
For Martín Caparrós, “reading La Tribu was, more than anything, a great pleasure: the pleasure of reading a great work. It’s not just an interesting take, not just a well-told story; it is literature, and, in addition, it’s on Cuba.”
Jon Lee Anderson remarked, “if you want Cuba - or if you’re Cuban, or you carry Cuba in your blood - you will have to read La Tribu, because there is magic in these pages. It’s not an invented magic. It’s the Cuba that really exists. It’s the Cuba that lasts, the beloved, the sad and the hated, the one that is forever, whether you like it or not. The readers will realize again, if they were in doubt, that despite everything, Cubans have something special, that despite everything, they have a future ahead, just like the author of this book.”
Finally, Leila Guerreiro noted that, “there are issues that seem tailored to convene the commonplace and are resigned to reductionism. Cuba is one of them. However, Carlos Manuel Álvarez not only writes about his native country with an exquisite look that dodges any of those possibilities, which he does in each of the topics he touches, be they political, social or cultural, he also does it with a refined and tasteful prose. The book mixes a strange Caribbean refined elegance and a sensitivity that never falls into sentimentality, with an authorial voice full of knowledge and a clear and resounding perceptible grasp of the Spanish language. That ability to unite look, content and form in a single beam of high quality literature transforms Álvarez into one of the best journalists in the continent.”
Carlos Manuel Álvarez is a journalist and a story-teller. He received his degree in Journalism in 2013 from the School of Communications at the University of Havana. In 2013, he won the Calendar Award in Cuba with the book of stories: “La tarde de los sucesos definitivos” (The Afternoon of the Definitive Events) (April, 2014, Criatura, 2015). He was a columnist for OnCuba Magazine and has been published various media outlets such as the New York Times, BBC World, Aljazeera, Internazionale and Univisión. His chronicles have appeared in magazines such as El Malpensante and Gatopardo. In 2016, he founded El Estornudo (The Sneeze), an independent Cuban journal of narrative journalism (www.elestornudo.org). He recently joined as an international content editor for The Clinic in Chile. In 2014, he was selected by the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (New Ibero-American Journalism) to be part of the journalism and literature workshop, directed by Daniel Samper, well-known Colombian writer and journalist. In 2015, he won the Ibero-American Prize for the Crónica Nuevas Plumas (New Feathers Chronicle). In 2017, he was selected by the Hay Festival Cartagena as one of the authors that make up Bogota39 (list of the 39 best fiction writers in Latin America under 40 years old). His book, El Trubu, published by Sexto Piso is a volume of chronicles about post-revolutionary Cuba. He has an unpublished novel titled, “Los caídos” (The Fallen Ones).
Watch the video of the event (in Spanish)