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The Tribe: Portraits of Cuba


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About the Author

Carlos Manuel lvarez divides his time between Havana and Mexico City. He was included in Bogot39's best LatinAmerican writers under 40 in 2017 and in Granta's Best Young Spanish Novelists in 2021. The Tribe, his first book,appeared in 2017 with Sexto Piso. He is also the author of two novels, The Fallen (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2019), and FalsaGuerra (forthcoming with Fitzcarraldo Editions).


‘There is magic in these pages…[T]his book tells the actual story of Cuba as it exists today.’
— Jon Lee Anderson

‘Álvarez is very good on the absurdist rituals of zombie totalitarianism…The Tribe vividly explores the more offbeat milieus and people of an extended Cuba.’
— Lorna Scott Fox, TLS

 ‘A journalistically rigorous picture of Cuban life, The Tribe is characterized by the gaps between Álvarez’s subjects. Using interviews and on-site reportage, Álvarez profiles people from various socioeconomic backgrounds, with contrasting political affiliations. The sketches he compiles demonstrate a wide range of experiences and perceptions of Cuba. Álvarez allows the juxtapositions between these profiles to reveal a country that looks different from person to person.... A nation is, after all, nebulous— the only way to make an honest portrait is to approach it from myriad perspectives. In The Tribe, the resulting mosaic is rich for its nuance and contradictions.’
— Morgan Graham, Chicago Review of Books

‘Àlvarez has smuggled an important ethnographic work inside the form of an entertaining and well-written crónica.’
— Alex Payne, Buzz Magazine

‘Álvarez does not try to instruct or speculate. He does not write on whether the Revolution succeeded or failed. He does not determine whether the leader was a hero or a tyrant. His book is not an explanation: it is …. the history of a country told through its people.’
— María Teresa Hernández, AP News

‘That rarest of books about a people that achieves a restorative function without idling in a documentarian mode, The Tribe’s gift to its subjects is not raising them as a hot topic, but by preserving their dignity in spite of the headlines.’
— Words Without Borders

‘This is one of those books you'll read in a single sitting. Conveying readers to the turbulent landscapes of Cuba's recent political past, it offers a refreshing assessment of the country outside of typical historic tropes, giving voice to ordinary Cubans, from artists and nurses to underground musicians and dissident poets.’
— Lucy Kehoe, Suitcase Magazine

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