Book Notes: Néstor Díaz de Villegas’ De donde son los gusanos

I haven’t returned to Ukraine since emigrating 21 years ago. Emigrés who go back for a visit are such a joke because they exist in a constant state of informing the former compatriots of the superior ways of their new country. As if they had anything to do with creating those superior ways.

De donde son los gusanos is a book by a Cuban author who returned to Cuba after 37 years in the US. Díaz de Villegas is not a regular immigrant but an actual political exiliado who had spent time in a concentration camp in Cuba for political dissidence. And he’s a talented writer. But even he is doing the stereotypical “ah, just look at the barbarians” thing. And it’s not that there isn’t a lot of obnoxiousness in Cuba. There is. But his sense of extreme superiority isn’t justified because what is it that he did to become superior? Emigrated? Big freaking deal.

I slipped on the stairs and cracked my tailbone, so I’m moody. Plus, I ordered a tarte tatin to make myself feel better, and it tastes like garlic. But the book isn’t bad. It’s just annoying at times in a typical emigré sort of way.

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