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WORD: Novelist Robert Arrelano launches 'Havana Lunar'
Edited Press Release

Fresh off the press comes "Havana Lunar," an intriguing Cuban noir novel by Robert Arellano that publisher Akashic Books describes as a literary crime novel on the last island of Socialism set during a period of intense desperation. Arellano has readings slated in New York City and San Francisco in support of this March 2009 release that is set during one hungry, hallucinatory night in the heart of Havana.

Havana Lunar protagonist Mano Rodriguez is a young doctor with the revolutionary medical service who comes to the aid of a teenage prostitute named Julia. She takes refuge in his clinic to break away from the abusive pimp who prostituted her, and they form an unlikely allegiance that Mano thinks might save him from his twin burdens: the dead-end hospital assignment he was delegated after being blacklisted by the Cuban Communist Party and a Palo Monte curse on his love life commissioned by a vengeful ex-wife.

But when the pimp and his bodyguards come after Julia and Mano, the violent chain-reaction plunges them all into the decadent catacombs of Havana’s criminal underworld.

Inspired by fifty years of Cuban noir, from "The Cold Tales of Virgilio Piñera" to Reinaldo Arenas’ "Before Night Falls," Arellano’s Havana Lunar intertwines an insider testimony on the collapse of socialist Cuba with a psychological mystery that climaxes in the eye of Hurricane Andrew.

Robert Arellano’s parents fled Havana in 1960. He has been working on Havana Lunar since 1992 when, as a student in Brown University’s graduate writing program, he visited Cuba on a research fellowship. He has returned ten times, chronicling the Revolution in journalism, essay, and song. He is the author of two other novels, "Fast Eddie: King of the Bees" and "Don Dimaio of La Plata," both published by Akashic.


--Wed., March 25, 7:30pm--NEW YORK, NY--92nd St. Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. * With Achy Obejas (author of RUINS) and Robert Arellano (HAVANA LUNAR)

--Thurs., May 7, 7pm--SAN FRANCISCO, CA--City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave. *With Achy Obejas (RUINS), Maggie Estep (ALICE FANTASTIC), and Robert Arellano (HAVANA LUNAR)

For more information about Akashic Books check out their website.


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