Biography of a Runaway Slave by Miguel Barnet *
Naples & Casco Public Libraries present
"Let's Talk About It" Summer Reading Series
Books are available to borrow at both libraries
Wed. July 12 - 2:00 p.m. @ NPL
n this remarkable testimony, Cuban novelist and anthropologist
Miguel Barnet presents the narrative of 105-year-old Esteban Montejo, who lived as a slave in the sugar fields, as a fugitive in the wilderness, and as a soldier in the Cuban War of Independence, and who ultimately lived to see the Cuban revolution's promise of education and medical care, including a nursing home where he w
as being interviewed. This book was chosen for the series because the runaway slave's life story is uniquely interesting since introduces the reader to multidimensional cultural details about slavery and slave populations erased in general discussions of slavery. Furthermore, it is one of the few accounts that exist of Latin American slavery from the point of view of the slaves.
The Chase by Alejo Carpentier *
Wed. July 26 - 2:00 p.m. @ CP
A thrilling tale written in 1958, told against the backdrop of Havana in the era of Batista's violent tyranny. It tells the story of how two men (a student on the run and a ticket seller at a concert hall) find their lives and fates intertwined. Attention to details that are constant variants on preceding detail build the tension to a stunning climax. An anonymous student flees a team of shadowy, relentless political assassins, and ultimately takes refuge in a symphony hall during a performance of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony. This nightmarish novella does not tell a story so much as map the secret political infrastructure of cities, governments, churches, music, and bodies. It was chosen for the series due to its extraordinary ability to convey the claustrophobia and frustrations under the Batista regime and as an allegory for any tyrannical regime.