Robert Arellano, Nelson George & Achy Obejas
Three excellent writers, all published by one of the finest independent presses around, Brooklyn’s Akashic Books, come to the fore here tonight.
ROBERT ARELLANO, who will have a nonfiction title, Friki: Rock and Rebellion in the Cuban Revolution, later in 2018 is the author of six novels, including his most recent, Havana Libre. “This potent noir sheds light on Cuban life in the post-Soviet era . . . Building to an explosive ending, this atmospheric mix of proletarian literature and Graham Greene–style espionage informs as it entertains.” —Publishers Weekly.
NELSON GEORGE makes a welcome return, having been here for both non-fiction and fiction books. He’s here tonight with his newest novel, To Funk and Die in L.A. “Ex-bodyguard D Hunter travels from Brooklyn to Los Angeles to investigate the circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s murder in the fourth entry in this series by critic and journalist George . . . read this for its passionate and unresolved argument about the still-beating heart of R&B.” —Kirkus Reviews.
And ACHY OBEJAS, first known for her debut, We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?, is here with a strong new book of Cuba-set stories, The Tower of the Antilles. “By turns searing and subtly magical, the stories in Obejas’ vividly imagined collection are propelled by her characters’ contradictory feelings about and unnerving experiences in Cuba . . . For all the human tumult and deftly sketched and reverberating historical and cultural contexts that Obejas incisively creates in these poignant, alarming tales, she also offers lyrical musings on the mysteries of the sea and the vulnerability of islands and the body. Obejas’ plots are ambushing, her characters startling, her metaphors fresh, her humor caustic, and her compassion potent in these intricate and haunting stories of displacement, loss, stoicism, and realization.” —Booklist.