‘Because Cuba is You is a historical narrative focused on the relations between Galicia and Cuba. Well written and full of entertaining anecdotes, Chao brings an imaginative dimension to the story of emigration.’ – El Mundo

A young man listens as his grandmother (Dolores) recounts stories from her life, which he writes down in the hope of making sense of them all. Following a fortune-telling Galician childhood and romantic adventures with a much older lover, Dolores’s story takes her to Cuba at the end of the nineteenth century. Finding work as a maid in the household of high ranking Cuban official Don Mario García Kohly, she finds herself immersed in a whirlwind of political change.

One night during a Santería ceremony at a sugar plantation, Dolores is blessed with the gift of ubiquity; the ability to be in two places at once. When she falls pregnant as a result of an illicit affair with Don Mario, one Dolores is sent back to Galicia while another stays on in Cuba as the political situation unfolds.

Because Cuba is You is Ramón Chao’s magical realist account of his own family saga and the political maelstrom into which he was born, tracing a personal and political line from the Spanish-American War to the Spanish Civil War.

Translated by Ann Wright