For more than thirty years, musician Carlos Varela has been a guide to the heart, soul, and sound of Havana. One of the best known singer-songwriters to emerge out of the Cuban nueva trova movement, Varela has toured in North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. In North America, Varela is “Cuba’s Bob Dylan.” In Cuba, he is the voice of the generation that came of age in the 1990s and for whom his songs are their generation’s anthems. My Havana is a lyrical exploration of Varela’s life and work, and of the vibrant musical, literary, and cinematic culture of his generation.
Popular both among Cubans on the island and in the diaspora, Varela is legendary for the intense political honesty of lyrics. He is one of the most important musicians in the Cuban scene today. In My Havana, writers living in Canada, Cuba, the United States, and Great Britain use Varela’s life and music to explore the history and cultural politics of contemporary Cuba. The book also contains an extended interview with Varela and English translations of the lyrics to all his recorded songs, most of which are appearing in print for the very first time.
‘The book makes an excellent case for Varela’s cultural significance… My Havana reads like a love letter to Carlos Varela…. It makes a strong case for the inclusion of Carlos Varela in the cannon of Cuban musical greats.’
‘Impressively, the book has come to exist in two versions: English and Spanish. Such a production is highly commendable, even inspirational… The book provides much of value for readers unfamiliar with Varela and Nueva Trova.’