Grieving for Guava

Grieving for Guava


University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose Series

by Cecilia M. Fernandez

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky

152 Pages, 5.00 x 8.00 x 0.00 in

  • Hardcover
  • 9780813178974
  • Published: April 2020



Castro's communist regime gained control of Cuba in 1959, sparking a surge of immigration to the United States, particularly Miami, as refugees sought a better life. But for many, Cuba will always be home. The island's stories pass from refugee to refugee, immigrant to grandchild, mingling hope for the future with grief for what's lost. Yet these stories also pass down a deep, unconscious desire for the unattainable, which often results in fractured relationships and a loss of purpose for both young and old. Grieving for Guava revels in the unbroken ties between past and future, Havana and Miami, and recounts the unintended generational costs of immigration. Ten stories explore the lives of Cuban refugees in Miami as they grapple with a longing for the past and a fervent need to move forward. Spanning six decades of the Cuban exile, these stories lay bare a collective struggle to overcome the destabilizing effects of migration and to reassemble splintered identities: A journalist returns to the island for a childhood toy. An investment banker leaves Miami to open a bookstore near the Malecon. A girl with cerebral palsy attempts to swim across the ocean to reach her lost home. Cecilia Fernandez artfully weaves together the complicated lives of her characters to produce an overarching sense of yearning for the past, transforming grief into an even more powerful force: communion.

Grieving for Guava captures the heartache and hope that are common in the immigrant experience, adding a dynamic, human voice to the politically charged dialogue surrounding immigration.