The Havana Habit

Shopping Cart Notice

In order to purchase a book title from our shopping cart you must download and install the Mozilla Firefox browser. If you're unable to download and install Firefox, you may also place your order directly from our fulfillment warehouse, Triliteral, by calling 1-800-405-1619. If you have received a promotional code for an event or conference purchase, please mention it when placing your order.
 
Please note that the Triliteral Call Center is open Monday thru Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. Due to the influx of calls, wait times may be longer than usual. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.

Gustavo Pérez Firmat

View Inside Format: Paper
Price: $26.00
YUP
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

Also Available in:
Cloth

From the acclaimed poet and critic, an affectionate examination of Cuba in America’s cultural imagination

Cuba, an island 750 miles long, with a population of about 11 million, lies less than 100 miles off the U.S. coast. Yet the island’s influences on America’s cultural imagination are extensive and deeply ingrained.

In the engaging and wide-ranging Havana Habit, writer and scholar Gustavo Pérez Firmat probes the importance of Havana, and of greater Cuba, in the cultural history of the United States. Through books, advertisements, travel guides, films, and music, he demonstrates the influence of the island on almost two centuries of American life. From John Quincy Adams’s comparison of Cuba to an apple ready to drop into America’s lap, to the latest episodes in the lives of the “comic comandantes and exotic exiles,” and to such notable Cuban exports as the rumba and the mambo, cigars and mojitos, the Cuba that emerges from these pages is a locale that Cubans and Americans have jointly imagined and inhabited. The Havana Habit deftly illustrates what makes Cuba, as Pérez Firmat writes, “so near and yet so foreign.”

A poet, fiction writer, memoirist, and scholar, Gustavo Pérez Firmat is the David Feinson Professor of Humanities at Columbia University.

"This short, breezy, and often amusing examination of American perceptions of Cuba is both timely and informative. . . . Pérez Firmat has handled this topic with a light, humorous touch without diminishing its more serious aspects."—Jay Freeman, Booklist

"Mr. Pérez Firmat catalogs the ways in which Cuba has influenced American tastes and infiltrated American culture . . . to suggest the pride of place Havana once had in the American imagination."—Eric Felten, Wall Street Journal

“A tale of two closely tied cultures, The Havana Habit is told with both élan and humor: the author's take on the latin lover iconography attached to both Fidel and Che is priceless, and like all of this book, both informative and entertaining.”—Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

“A must-read, must-teach text filled with revelations about the dysfunctional love affair that has preoccupied the United States and Cuba over the last century. There's no other book like it on the Cuban-American condition. Pérez Firmat delivers all you ever wanted to know about Cuba but were too American and polite to ask.”—Virgil Suarez, author of 90 Miles: New and Selected Poems

"With elegance and dynamism, Pérez Firmat traces the power of stereotypes in America¹s construction of things Cuban. If Havana stands for Cuba, Cuba stands for Latin America, and there is no other Latin American nation that has left a deeper imprint in the American imagination."—Diana Sorensen, Harvard University

"A brilliant and engagingly written study whose theoretical sharpness and original and meticulous research show Havana to be a veritable, if unlikely, American icon."—Roberto Ignacio Díaz, University of Southern California

“Sophisticated and eminently readable . . . masterful . . . Whatever you think and feel about Cuba, you won’t regret reading [The Havana Habit].”—Ian Craig, Caribbean Review of Books

"A worthy resource in a variety of disciplines."—A. M. Stock, CHOICE

“The Havana Habit is an entertaining, informative survey of America’s preoccupation with its neighbour, the only jewel unincorporated into its territorial crown.”—Gabriel Paquette, Times Literary Supplement
ISBN: 9780300177893
Publication Date: February 21, 2012
256 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
19 b/w illus.