Miami Book Fair International

Cuban writers Abilio Estévez, Teresa Dovalpage, Humberto López y Guerra and the Spanish writer Xavier Alcalá.
Cuban writers Abilio Estévez, Teresa Dovalpage, Humberto López y Guerra and the Spanish writer Xavier Alcalá.

On Thursday November 15, 2012, the Miami Book Fair International, the finest annual literary festival in the United States, presented a Night of Storytelling with Cuban writers Abilio Estévez, Teresa Dovalpage, Humberto López y Guerra and the Spanish writer Xavier Alcalá.

 

Humberto Lopez y Guerra presented his novel El traidor de Praga
Here are some extracts from his presentation:

Humberto López y Guerra in the Miami Book Fair -Photo courtesy of Luis de la Paz
Humberto López y Guerra in the Miami Book Fair -Photo courtesy of Luis de la Paz

“In Madrid, during the presentation of the novel, a young reader told me that, although in the back of the book says that the novel mixes fiction and historical facts with real and fictional characters, he could not find anything that was fiction. His remark gave me a deep satisfaction, because that was really my main purpose: to write a story that reveals the intricacies of international espionage during the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, and we’ll never know for sure if it really happened or not …”

“I am an avid reader of spy novels, the genre fascinates me and among my favorite writers are, of course, John Le Carré, Frederick Forsyth, Tom Clancy and Ken Follett. I have always hoped to read a novel about spy genre related to Cuba, and since no one had written it, I decided to do it.”

“To give the story the necessary credibility, I made a long and thorough historical research on those months when communism disappeared in Europe, also about the characters, both real and fictitious, contained in the novel, as well as drug operations, instability, terrorism and military intervention that was involved in the Cuba of Castro since the early sixties until 1990. I confess that this has been a labor, difficult and annoying, but, paradoxically, it was tremendously satisfying.”

“What is El traidor de Praga about? Roughly, it is the story of the fall of communism in the Soviet Union and the other countries of Eastern Europe. How the Castro regime was prepared to survive the debacle and recycled jeopardizing the use of certain resources that has been known  well over decades. Moving their reserves from their multiple illicit activities. Contacts with drug trafficking and arms sales, and the vast network of terrorism that dominate, and thus be able to continue fighting his stubborn struggle against “U.S. imperialism”.

 

 

Presentation in New York for ‘El traidor de Praga’

Professor Lourdes Gil and Humberto Lopez y Guerra during the presentation of "The Prague traitor" in New York on November 9, 2012
Professor Lourdes Gil and Humberto Lopez y Guerra during the presentation of “The Prague traitor” in New York on November 9, 2012

On Friday, November 9, 2012, at the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature from Baruch College, City University of New York, El traidor de Praga was presented on a meeting sponsored by the Cuban Cultural Center New York and presented by the Cuban poet and essayist Lourdes Gil, professor of Latin American studies at Baruch College.

Professor Lourdes Gil spoke extensively of El traidor de Praga and how it fits perfectly between the genres of political thriller and international testimonial literature, highlighting the uniqueness of the novel in Cuban literature.

“The New York City launching of the most riveting thriller to grace Cuban literature in years. Linking Prague, Washington, South Yemen, Paris, Sitges, Madrid, Havana, Geneva, and Panama City, the novel takes the reader into the whirlwind days of the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, when the threat of terrorist cells already loomed on the horizon. A novel with a plot so astounding and so full of real-life characters and events that fiction and history become indistinguishable. El traidor de Praga lays bare the underpinnings of international espionage with such excruciating detail, that we will never know with certainty if it really happened, although everything is possible…”

Lopez y Guerra spoke of spy novels, in general, and in particular the influence of Forsyth “The Jackal”: the first political thriller that mixes fiction with reality, and also spoke about the winds blowing globalizing in literature today, a phenomenon in which, according to the author, the novel is part of the global trend because its plot and its characters move just beyond the borders of countries or languages.

 

Humberto Lopez and Guerra, at the Ateneo de Madrid on April 20, 2012