In this follow-up to her beloved, prize-winning debut, In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Ana MenÃ©ndez delivers a liberating, magical, and modern take on the idea of migration and flight.
Adios, Happy Homeland! is a wildly innovative collection of interlinked tales that challenge our preconceptions of storytelling. This critical look at the life of the Cuban writer pulls apart and reassembles the myths that have come to define her culture, blending illusion with reality and exploring themes of art, family, language, superstition, and the overwhelming need to escapeâ€”from the island, from memory, from stereotype, and, ultimately, from the self. Weâ€™re taken into a sick manâ€™s fever dream as he waits for a train beneath a strange night sky, into a community of parachute makers facing the end in a windy town that no longer exists, and onto a Cuban beach where the body of a boy last seen on a boat bound for America turns out to be a giant jellyfish.
With Adios Happy Homeland!, MenÃ©ndez puts a contemporary twist on the troubled history of Cuba and offers a wry and poignant perspective on the conundrum of cultural displacement. Smart, accessible, and literary, it is a captivating portrayal of how stories are translated, (mis)interpreted, and shaped across time and traditions.