A Kind of Solitude Full Cover


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Set in Cuba, largely after the fall of the Soviet Union, the eleven stories in A Kind of Solitude (Willow Springs Books) explore themes of isolation and preservation in the face of widespread poverty and sociopolitical oppression. From a chronically ill santero refusing medical care to a female-fronted heavy-metal band risking it all to emerge from Havana’s underground, this daring debut portrays the harsh reality, inherent humor, and resilient heart of a people whose stories should be known.

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“Despite all the light it shines on troubles in Cuban life, A Kind of Solitude is a love letter to Cuba as much as it as a critique of it, full of the heartbreak that comes from loving something flaws and all…[It] is a debut that doesn’t feel like a debut, as its stories are full-bodied and confident, and read like the work of a seasoned master.” 

— The Kenyon Review 


“Oppressive systems and corruption appear like bad spirits in every story, as do real beating hearts, people living, fighting, fearing, loving in a place Suarez evokes with candor, humor, and strength.”

— Boston Globe 


“Suarez masterfully collides the personal and the political, moving characters and circumstance toward each other like pieces on a chessboard.”

— The Paris Review


“Dariel Suarez’s story collection contributes further to the American publishing landscape what Jhumpa Lahiri, Ha Jin, Yiyun Li, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and others like them have helped evolve and enrich—the scope and possibilities of what constitutes the universal experience in literary fiction.”

— The Florida Review 


“A Kind of Solitude is a stunning debut of enduring tales that deserve a space on every bookshelf.”

— 2040 Review


“The characters who populate this remarkable debut collection range from an employee at a psychiatric hospital who gets sucked into a grisly scheme to a singer in a heavy metal band to a widow whose illicit cheese purchase lands her in trouble with the state—all bound by the complex negotiation of loyalty and self-preservation, of stasis and escape, of the ghosts of the past that crowd the present and the unknown horizon of the future. A Kind of Solitude is a stunning, nuanced illumination of contemporary Cuban life, and Dariel Suarez is a brilliant new talent.”

— Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel


“This wonderful collection of stories shows Dariel Suarez’s unique vision and ambition as a beginning writer. Together these stories follow the grand tradition of fiction–to bring the news of the world. In this case, there is also the news of the heart. Reading them, we get to know these Cuban men and women intimately: their pain, suffering, anger, loneliness, and above all their hopes. This book announces the significant beginning of a new talent.”

— Ha Jin, National Book Award winner and author of War Trash


“In these accomplished stories, Dariel Suarez’s characters must navigate churning waters of betrayal and compromise, of love and obligation, of longing for escape. A Kind of Solitude is an insightful, original, and large-hearted debut.”

–Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of Night at the Fiestas


“Here comes Dariel Suarez: young master of the story form, humble but fierce truth-teller, hawk-eyed witness to a refreshing range of complex lives. His Cuba is one rarely seen in contemporary literary fiction – nuanced, intimate, cigar-free – a country of ordinary people who dream, cheat, search, and wrestle with the fate handed them by god and government. The kind of pleasure and illumination we get from these shrewd stories is why we turn to fiction.”

–Christopher Castellani, author of All This Talk of Love and Leading Men 


“Dariel Suarez’s moving, plot-rich stories, expertly capture the vicissitudes of Cuban life—from the tragic to the hopeful, the history-swept and politically-tied. This collection is a welcome addition to Cuban-American literature.”

–Chantel Acevedo, author of The Distant Marvels and The Living Infinite