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Cuba Revisited: 06/16/08
Havana: Tales of the City is a collection of essays and short stories about Havana, Cuba. The book starts off with "Cuba Revisited" by Martha Gellhorn, an essay originally published in The View from the Ground (1988).
Martha Gellhorn was Ernest Hemingway's third wife (1940-6) and spent her marriage living in Havana. She returned in 1987 and that trip forms the basis of this essay.
As to be expected, Gellhorn's essay compares Havana before and after Castro. At first she is sad to see the changes but as she travels around the city and visits with the people she comes to see some of the positives. She never endorses Castro's regime. Her positive take on things is more a celebration of the human spirit than an approval.
My favorite part of the essay is her visit to a local school. She sits in on an English class, a history class and a biology class. This section reminded me of my own time as an exchange student to Mexico City, so I bonded with her own hunt for nostalgia in Havana.