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Episode 35 - Dariel Suarez

Photo Credit: Catalina Piedrahita

This episode is sponsored by the Miami Book Fair International.

I have never been to Cuba, but Dariel Suarez made me feel like I was there.

His first book of prose, A Kind of Solitude, is set on the island after the fall of the Soviet Union. It won the 2017 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction and was published recently.

Dariel grew up in Havana and his family came to the United States when he was a teenager. It's clear that his heart remains there.

His affection for the people of Cuba shines through each story. This collection highlights just how difficult life was during what Fidel Castro called the Special Period, when Cuba's economy was left in shambles following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Dariel tackles the impact of the severe poverty of the time as well as issues surrounding racism and classism.

We recently met at the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami to discuss his work.

Interview Highlights:

Dariel reveals...

- Why he wanted to show the daily realities of living under an oppressive regime

- Why he's reading lots of work in translation

- How his forthcoming novel ties together art, politics, journalism and religion

Click here to listen to the podcast.

We'll send a free, signed copy of A Kind of Solitude to the first listener to tell us the novel that made a teenage Dariel feel seen. You can tweet us the answer @ReadMorePodcast or write it on our Facebook page.

If you have won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90 days, you're ineligible. If we ever made an outfit together in 4-H, or slept in the same unbearably hot cabin at summer camp, you're probably ineligible. ReadMore does not have a friends and family plan. But we'll always have Polar Bear Swim and the last night talent show.

UPDATED TO ADD: On February 19, Damita Chambers McDonald tweeted the correct response to our question to receive a free, signed copy of A Kind of Solitude.

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