Loving Che by Ana Menendez

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Synopsis

A young Cuban woman has been searching in vain for details of her birth mother. All she knows of her past is that her grandfather fled the turbulent Havana of the 1960s for Miami with her in tow, and that pinned to her sweater-possibly by her mother-were a few treasured lines of a Pablo Neruda poem. These facts remain her only tenuous links to her history, until a mysterious parcel arrives in the mail. Inside the soft, worn box are layers of writings and photographs. Fitting these pieces together with insights she gleans from several trips back to Havana, the daughter reconstructs a life of her mother, her youthful affair with the dashing, charismatic Che Guevara and the child she bore by the enigmatic rebel. Loving Che is a brilliant recapturing of revolutionary Cuba, the changing social mores, the hopes and disappointments, the excitement and terror of the times. It is also an erotic fantasy, a glimpse into the private life of a mythic public figure, and an exquisitely crafted meditation on memory, history, and storytelling. Finally, Loving Che is a triumphant unveiling of how the stories we tell about others ultimately become the story of ourselves.
 

About Ana Menendez

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Ana MenÉndez is a 2008 Fulbright scholar and the Pushcart Prize-winning author of two works of fiction, In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and Loving Che. She has worked as a columnist for the Miami Herald and has also contributed to The New Republic, the New York Times, and Gourmet, as well as several anthologies. She lives in Miami, Florida.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 260 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Loving Che

Publishers Weekly

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Despite the tension in the narrator's search to learn her mother's fate and the true identity of her father—was it Che, or Teresa's professor husband, Calixto?—the present-day story, which bookends the letters, is less developed.

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BC Books

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I don’t like love stories, and I tend to avoid any books or films that might contain too much “mushy stuff.” And if a book has the word love in the title, you can bet I’ll usually be avoiding it like the bird flu (more later about bird flu).

Apr 12 2006 | Read Full Review of Loving Che

USA Today

They introduce the protagonist to a fantastical idea: Her mother if the Teresa who wrote the letters is her mother had a torrid love affair with Guevara, and she is their love child.But the novel's plot is only secondary to Menendez's descriptions of Teresa's obsession and fascination with Guev...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Ana Menendez's first novel delves into the personal life of Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, whose image today appears on tourist trinkets and walls of anarchist coffee shops alike.

Oct 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Loving Che

Curious Book Fans

There is certainly a contrast within the story as to how different characters react to the idea that El Che could be this woman’s father and I would imagine that these reactions are probably reflected in the way readers might react to this novel.

Dec 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Loving Che

Reader Rating for Loving Che
85%

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