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“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

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Havana

Photos From My Trip to Cuba

In May of this year, Alina (my wife) and I made a 10-day trip to Cuba. It was the first time back for me after 18 years, and 12 for her. We stayed at the house where I grew up (we actually slept in what used to be my parents’ bedroom). As someone who writes about Cuba, this journey back was more than a personal reconnection with my native home, members of my family, and childhood friends. It was an opportunity to see, in real life, places that I remembered or had imagined while writing about them in my stories and novel.

Here are a few photos (from the hundreds!) we took while there.

capitolio

El Capitolio and old cars: what most tourists get to see.

cops

Cops harassing local vendors: what tourists don’t always see.

theater

Teatro Mella: the setting for the opening of my novel.

coppelia

Coppelia ice cream parlor: another setting in my novel.

vedado

View of El Vedado, el Malecon, and the U.S. embassy.

motorcycle

My best friend from my childhood took Alina and me on a ride around Havana in his Russian Jupiter motorcycle with sidecar. One of the coolest experiences we had.

kay-mani

Bumped into Ky-Mani Marley (one of Bob Marley’s sons) at a bar in Old Havana. We spoke briefly about our mutual love for the island and its people.

Old building.jpg

How so many people live just blocks away from the tourist areas.

centro-habana

Side street in Centro Habana, as viewed from El Paseo del Prado.

my-block

The sad state of the block where I grew up.

countryside

The Cuban countryside.

Food.jpg

Havana’s budding restaurant industry (tostones rellenos and enchilado de cangrejo).

moskvich

Remnants of the Soviet era. My dad used to drive one of these, assigned by his job, when I was growing up.

university

Alina and I on the famous steps at the University of Havana.

obamas-restaurant

Having a complimentary drink at the restaurant where Obama ate during his visit.

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Back From My Trip to Cuba.

My wife and I recently went on a ten-day trip to Havana. It was the first time back in the island for me after 18 years. My experience was an incredible one, surpassing all expectations. I hope to return soon and often to Cuba, a place that will always be close to my heart.

This is me sitting on the front steps of the house where I grew up.

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A Trip Back in Time.

Recently I began talking with my childhood best friend (we met when we were four), with whom I hadn’t spoken in 18 years. This coming May, my wife and I are going to Cuba for the first time since we left, when we both intend to reconnect with our birthplaces and those who are still living in our neighborhoods (many have left).

Today my friend sent me this picture, which is of me, him, my younger brother, and my cousin, sitting on my grandmother’s sofa in Havana. I can’t wait to go back and return a changed person, with many stories to tell.

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With My Cousin in Cuba.

This is me with my cousin in Havana, Cuba, in front of the house in which we grew up in the 1980s and 90s. This house inspired the one in my novel.

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