“Medina’s satirical vision—funny, bleak, melancholy, and wise both about human beings and history—takes one’s breath away.”

Jaime Manrique

The Cuban Comedy

Pablo Medina

A novel steeped in political satire, poetry, and the lightest touches of magical realism, with an uncanny heroine at its core: Elena of Piedra Negra.

Piedra Negra is an isolated village, whose citizens consist mainly of soldiers injured in the revolution that pass the time drinking a firewater so intense all hallucinate, and most never recover. The firewater distiller's daughter Elena longs to be a poet, and when she wins a national poetry contest, Elena leaves Piedra Negra, and her family, behind for Havana.  

There she encounters a population adjusting to a new way of life, post-revolution. Navigating black markets and censorship, Elena embraces the city, and her new position as an official poet of Cuba, until she finds herself on the wrong side of the regime. Full of outlandish humor and insights into a contradictory and Kafkaesque world, Medina brings 1960s Cuba to life through the eyes of Elena.