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Other Letters to Milena

by Reina Maria Rodriguez

Other Letters to Milena Synopsis

Other Letters to Milena is a translation of a mixedgenre work by acclaimed Cuban poet Reina Maria Rodriguez in which poetry merges into creative nonfiction, culminating in a series of essays. Published in Spanish as Otras cartas a Milena, Other Letters to Milena shows Rodriguez confronting pressing issues at the turn of the twenty first century. These involve a new postSoviet world and the realities of diasporic existence, which have a profound effect even on people like Rodriguez who have not migrated but continue to live and work in their home nation. The book's title references Franz Kafka, whose Letters to Milena was published after his death in 1952, signals that Rodriguez participates in her city's long cosmopolitan tradition asserted by Cuban writers and scholars of Cuban literature. Rodriguez's youngest daughter, featured most prominently in the letters making up the collection's centerpiece, A Girl's Story, was named after Milena Jesenska, the recipient of Kafka's letters. With the poems provided in a bilingual format, the collection will be of interest both to English readers in general (this will be the first English translation of a complete Rodriguez collection not excerpted from a larger work) and to Spanish readers unable to obtain the collection in any form, given the difficulty of distributing Cuban literature outside that country. At the end of the book Dykstra has included a critical commentary. It clarifies many of the author's references, such as details pertaining to her family history items Dykstra learned during lengthy discussions with the author about her work and influences about her choices in the translation.

Other Letters to Milena Press Reviews

Reina Mar a Rodr guez is, by many measures, Cuba's foremost living poet. This collection is unique for both its formal variety (letters, poems, and short essays) and the breadth of literary sources from which it draws. It offers a thoughtful, intimate perspective on life in the confines of post-1959 Cuba but at the same time--and belying the stereotype of Cuban cultural insularity--looks to a broader world of writers, travelers and emigrants. --Esther Whitfield, author of Cuban Currency: The Dollar and Special Period Fiction and co-editor of Havana Beyond the Ruins and New Short Fiction from Cuba Other Letters to Milena is not only interesting for its literary and historical value--what makes it compelling is that much of it is addressed to Rodriguez's daughter. Her daughter, who shares a name with the woman who Kafka corresponds and falls in love with, thus becomes a vehicle with which to explore, often in an intimate and familiar tone, various personal, political, and literary themes. --Rosa Alcal , translator of Cecilia Vicu a's El Templo and Cloud-net

Book Information

ISBN: 9780817358013
Publication date: 20th December 2014
Author: Reina Maria Rodriguez
Publisher: The University of Alabama Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 88 pages
Categories: Poetry by individual poets,

About Reina Maria Rodriguez

Born in Cuba in 1952, Reina Maria Rodriguez is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including Las fotos de la Senora Loss, La detencion del tiempo/Time's Arrest (bilingual edition), Bosque negro, and Violet Island and Other Poems (bilingual anthology). She is a twotime winner of the prestigious Casa de las Americas prize for poetry, having also received multiple Julian del Casal and National Critics' Awards. She was awarded the Italo Calvino award for her first novel. In 1999 Rodriguez was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in France. Kristin Dykstra translated Reina Maria Rodriguez's ...

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