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A Novel by Teresa Dovalpage

“The country doctor gasps for air and says: I’m about to make a cut in you, so don’t move. And I’m wringing my hands and wondering if hysterotomy might be like hysteria, because I’m about to have an attack of it. And then, poof, my legs go shut on me like the doors of a crowded bus.”

— Posesas de La Habana

Teresa Dovalpage’s novel in Spanish, Posesas de La Habana (Los Angeles, Pureplay Press, July 2004) concerns four women in a Cuban family who on a night in the year 2000, during one of Havana’s enforced blackouts, reflect on their lives and uncover a century of history.

Of her novel, the author says: “When different generations live under one roof, disputes will surely break out. When four out of five family members are female, with ages ranging from eleven to ninety, the estrogen building up in a two-bedroom apartment reaches dramatic proportions. The characters of Posesas de La Habana, thanks to endless economic problems and political asphyxia, live not merely at the edge but in the middle of a constant nervous breakdown. Can these women find hope on an island where the sea appears as the only route to salvation?”

Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana in 1966 and studied English language and literature at the University of Havana, where she later served as a professor of English. She came to the United States in 1996 and taught Spanish at three colleges in San Diego. Now she lives in Albuquerque and pursues doctoral studies in Latin American literature at the University of New Mexico. She has just published a novel in English, A Girl Like Che Guevara (New York, Soho Press, April 2004).

Prize-winning Cuban-American author Carlos Eire says Dovalpage’s narrative “lays bare the inner workings of a society hell-bent on ideological purity, where the real and the ideal seldom converge, and where love must thrive in the midst of cruelty and all values need to be inverted for the sake of survival.”

—Carlos Eire, Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University, 
winner of the 2003 National Book Award for non-fiction, speaking of A Girl Like Che Guevara

Posesas de la Habana, by Teresa Dovalpage. A novel in Spanish. French cover, 208 pages, ISBN 0-9714366-7-3,  $20.00, July 2004

Pureplay Press, a Los Angeles-based publisher, is dedicated to the rescue of Cuba’s history and culture from the turbulence of the last half-century.

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