In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd

In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd In these linked tales about the Cuban American experience and the immigrant experience in general Ana Menendez has instantly established herself as a natural storyteller who probes with steady humor

  • Title: In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd
  • Author: Ana Menéndez
  • ISBN: 9780802138873
  • Page: 405
  • Format: Paperback
  • In these linked tales about the Cuban American experience and the immigrant experience in general, Ana Menendez has instantly established herself as a natural storyteller who probes with steady humor and astute political insight the dreams versus the realities of her characters Elle From the prizewinning title story unfolds a series of family snapshots that illuminateIn these linked tales about the Cuban American experience and the immigrant experience in general, Ana Menendez has instantly established herself as a natural storyteller who probes with steady humor and astute political insight the dreams versus the realities of her characters Elle From the prizewinning title story unfolds a series of family snapshots that illuminate the landscape of an exiled community rich in heritage, memory, and longing for the past In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd is at once tender and sharp fanged L.A Weekly as Ana Menendez charts the territory from Havana to Coral Gables, exploring whether any of us are capable, or even truly desirous, of out running our origins.

    One thought on “In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd”

    1. Bold, entertaining and realistic, these short stories stand out very well and are completely unforgettable. This book is great and a really fun read.

    2. A few months ago, I posted in one book community or another, asking for recommendations of Cuban authors. At last count I've read more than 30 non-fiction books involving Cuban history and/or politics, but hadn't read much fiction. This was one of the first books recommended to me and I was really excited to read it.While I liked it overall, I had a few problems with it. First of all, it was a collection of short stories. I am not typically a fan of short stories. Though the few collections that [...]

    3. The first story in this book grabbed my attention, with the description of older Cuban immigrants telling jokes while they played dominoes in Little Havana. The rest of the stories, which are connected somehow to the first lost me. The writing became very abstract and it was extremely hard to find how they were connected to the first story and to understand what it all meant. When the author talks about how the grandfather grew a radio out of one ear I continue on just to finish, but with no rea [...]

    4. This book deals with nostalgia, identity, how to be yourself when you have left all the things behind that made you who you were. As a Cuban immigrant myself, this book touched me profoundly. But this book is for everyone. It is a thoughtful exploration; funny, philosophical, sad, and lovely.

    5. I thought I would enjoy this novel. No, I thought I would LOVE it. I wanted to love this novel just because it had to do with the two things I know about since I was born; living in Miami and being Cuban. I don’t know if it’s because some of it hits too close to home or I’m just inundated by the constant news about Cuba and Cubans, but I didn’t love it and that makes me sad and it pains me to give it 2.5/5.This is a collection of eleven short stories mainly about Cuban Americans living i [...]

    6. “In Cuba I was a German Shepherd” is an endearing collection of eleven short stories showing scenes from various Cuban people's lives after moving to America. As the author is a daughter of exiled Cubans, I had high expectations for this book in terms of real emotions piercing through the text. She definitely delivered as even in the short amount of time the reader has with each character, you can almost feel for and with them. Throughout the book, the stories shift and flow from past and pr [...]

    7. This collection of short stories is all about life in Miami as a Cuban exile. Some characters make an appearance in more than one story, so the stories feel connected yet independent kind of like people that populate them. The overall feeling I got from the stories is that among the older generations that came to Miami to escape the revolution, there seems to be a kind of glamorization of life in Cuba before the revolution. While they're mostly happy to be "free," they don't necessarily regain [...]

    8. Menendez created a wonderful short story collection that helped me better understand the conflicts and concerns of Cuban immigrants and those who remain in Cuba. Her stories deal with painful losses and separation, cultural misunderstandings, characters who transform and characters who are so traumatized by their experiences that they are unable to make the changes they need to make. Her most challenging story is "Miami Relatives" in which she relies on humans to represent different aspects of C [...]

    9. The writing in these stories is strong. The stories themselves cover all the bases of the Cuban-American experience, or at least the experience of those who were dispossessed by Fidel. The author does have an annoying habit of having her characters laugh or cry to signal that something was supposed to be funny or sad. Pro tip: if you need to do that, then maybe your writing isn't so funny.

    10. The first short story is probably the best. I really wanted to like this book and thought it would be as entertaining as those of other writers of the Cuban immigrant story but I did not get them. I forced myself to finish to because I cannot leave a book unfinished.

    11. This collection of eleven short stories resonates with anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of having to leave their homeland and being separated from their families. Most of Ana Menéndez's stories are full of nostalgia and longing. These sentiments are brought out quite well by the author, but after I read the first story, which is the title of the book, the following stories fell flat for me. I didn't find the cohesiveness of these stories as advertised on the book overview. Most of [...]

    12. A collection of stories based on Cuban exiles in Miami. Though these type of Cuban exile stories usually focus on politics, these choose to deal with the impact produced by separation, loss, melancholy and longing for the homeland. Beautifully written from the perspective of a second generation Cuban American the author manages to handle this material with humor, poetry and beautiful imagery. At times abstract and others straight forward which gives each story in the collection a sense of unique [...]

    13. My husband says I have never complained so much about a book. One reviewer said this book had the grace of Margaret Atwood, that reviewer is out their damn mind. This collection of short stories reads like a dream in the summer when you get all tangled in the sheet and you wake up confused and without any idea how you got there. Only the last story has any discernible plot to follow and makes it the only readable story. I read this one story at a time as a palate cleanser after I mustered my way [...]

    14. Lovely writing, short stories always give me trouble because I find that in finishing one I have no desire to jump right into the next one - I already feel complete, why move on so quickly! Not a negative, just an observation. These stories flow well from one to the next, while being separate and having separate character voices and attitudes, they still feel connected in a winding sort of way. Read this book!

    15. I read this in two afternoons, because I couldn't put it down. I'm sad I did this only because I wish to have lived with the people in this book for longer. Heartbreaking in the best way. Vivid. Unmistakably Cuban and undeniably American. I'll never forget these people. This entire collection is a breath-catching example of how the universal sits in the specific. I finished it and knew why it had won so many accolades. Read this book! #38for38

    16. There were stories in this collection, particularly the title one, that I loved. There were other stories that felt saccharine. Being a Cuban American from Miami, I could relate very well to these stories and the sentiments in them. I'd say that the majority of the story were hammy, and using the Cuban background to seem "unique".

    17. I enjoyed the first story. The others that I read (I couldn't get through all of them) where unreachable to me. I wasn't able to maintain the thread. I'll be interested in checking out other reviews.

    18. This collection of short stories is what I love most about fiction that teaches you history and culture. Menendez does a beautiful, striking job. My favorite by far were the first and last - In Cuba I Was a German Shephard and Her Mother's House - with Confusing the Saints a heartbreaking third. Quotes that moved me: "He was plain and narrow like the thoughts of early morning when you can imagine your life as a long line of consequences, a simple fact." (100)"I imagine it so well that when I wok [...]

    19. An interesting collection of stories focusing on exiles from Cuba. Not too long ago, I read a somewhat so-so novel that had a great deal about Miami in the time of Castro's rise to power in Cuba. While the novel itself didn't enchant me, the glimpse of the emigres did, as did the portal into Miami before it became the Miami I know. This book was a tasty follow-up to that, that I actually liked much more than the main course. Just little things, like a description of Maximo, or preparing for a hu [...]

    20. I picked up this book because of its title and bought it because I was intrigued by the subject matter - the Cuban-American immigrant experience. I remember that chapter of history, but remarkably, have never read anything by any Cuban authors describing what it was like. The first story (the source of the title) says it all. The stories that follow have varying degrees of success in capturing the pain, loss and humor of life in Miami, a temporary refuge that turned into where they lived. A coup [...]

    21. The opening story made me think this book had 5-star potential. I read a bit more, and then it was clearly a four. I read a bit more, and it became too fantastical for my current reading mood, and it fell to a 3-star, which still isn't bad. It had some lovely writing and lovely moments. I thought the final story amateurish (which I feel unqualified to say because I'm not a writer, but it felt like a college writing workshop story). (If Cuba interests you, and you don't mind animation, then you m [...]

    22. If you are a post-structuralist, this is the book for you. Every time i read this book, the literature takes a different form and a new meaning is born (although this can be true for any book). Menendez does a breathtaking job bringing to light the issues of nostalgia, narrative, exile, identity and the notion of "truth"; with characters that you feel you somehow know and grow to care deeply about, she encompasses both depth and lightness in every story. This was my first book on my post-modern [...]

    23. I have an issue with the whole "exile" title and mentality which drives so many of the stories in this book. (That's the only reason I didn't give 5 starsI know I'm being a ha!) But the writing is wonderful. The title story is a knock-out punch to the gut. If you don't cry or smile, or have some kind of emotional reaction, there is something seriously wrong with you. My favorite piece though is, Why We Left, a brillant story in second person. Pick it up and hide it from your reading buddies.

    24. Meh. The title story is the only one with any complexity or depth. Otherwise, it's all two-dimensional characters whose tragic backstories are supposed to give their shallow interactions meaning. Even people who have suffered intensely can become consumed by minutiae and languish in relationships too mundane and superficial to interest anyone else, no matter how well-crafted the prose describing it all.

    25. As lovely as the stories in this book are, it feels a part of a genre of immigrant short story telling, and has almost too much in common with books from Indian, Dominican and Asian writers. Maybe if I had a personal immigration experience, these stories would resonate with me. However, if you love short stories and this sounds like something you will pick up, the first story in the book is the best by far!

    26. I liked the writing and enjoyed the first story in this book, but it seemed like the stories were supposed to be interconnected and I couldn't find the thread. I did enjoy it enough to finish reading it, but was left kind of dissapointed. Got some insights into what it must have been (must be) like for people attempting to migrate away from their home country, without any safety net. Never knowing for sure if loved ones died in transit or might still miraculously show up somewhere

    27. Every time I read the title piece of this fabulous short story collection of linked stories, I choke up (if I'm going to be honest, I burst into tears). I love these characters very much and the beautiful and sympathetic prose in which Menedez explores their lives, how they must leave home, family, possession behind and flee Cuba for a "better" life in America,and especially how these characters makes sense of thier new life. Don't miss this collection.

    28. A collection of melancholy short stories about the lives of Cuban immigrants living in Miami. I loved the title story, but after that I kind of lost interest, which often happens to me when reading short stories.The one other story that made a real impression on me was “Miami Relatives”. It’s a strange and symbolic tale that feels out of place among the more realistic stories, but one which I actually ended up reading twice.

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