Cuban Seeds. By Louis Villalba. ISBN: 978-1541185524 208 pages. $24.95
Hispanic Biography, Latino Biography, Cuban American Biography, Cuban American literature, Latino literature, Hispanic literature, Latinos--Social life and customs, Cuban American Social life and customs
Chelo fled Cuba in search of freedom in 1961. Born in a small village near Havana in 1921, she married Adolfo Llano in 1944. The couple resided in Artemisa, the cradle of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. They came in contact with some of its most prominent leaders and endured the cruel communist tyranny, which ended their prosperity and cut short their bliss. The Llanos left the island empty-handed. Chelo’s steel-forged nerves and resourcefulness steered her family to success in their new world. It would have been easier to be a fake revolutionary like Fidel Castro—who used deception and wielded a gun to suppress the free will of his people—than be a real fighter and do what she did day after day. Her life stood out as a monument to Cuban tenacity. History books did not record the events because she had lacked political ambitions and had not tortured or killed anyone. Yet, her anonymity would have been an irreparable loss.
When does a memoir become, not only an individual’s tale, but a testimony of historical events? When the narration weaves dramatic personal stories within a country’s history, and when each historical event as it evolved impacted on people lives and destinies. Louis Villalba’s “Cuban Seeds” tells an astonishing tale centered on Chelo, a politically quiet and a towering figure, and the Llanos family, whose struggles against a Communist dictatorship and yearnings for freedom led them to America in 1961. This book is highly recommended. LatinoBooks.Net
Louis Villalba was born in Cadiz, Spain, and has resided in the U.S. since 1970. He graduated from the University of Seville, Spain, with a doctor of medicine degree. He completed his training in neurology at the Chicago Medical School, where he taught for thirty years. His passion for literature prompted him to study creative writing at Northwestern University. His first book, The Silver Teacup (Createspace, 2012) or its Spanish version, La Tacita de Plata, contains short stories that take place in his hometown, Cádiz, Spain, shuttling the reader to a different world full of history, human drama, and fantasy. Kirkus Indie Review praised his novel "The Stranger’s Enigma" (Createspace, 2014) as “a provocative character study of a man facing a personal and professional crisis.” "Afterlife Tracks: Glimpses of the Occult" (Createspace, 2015), his first non-fiction work, narrates his experience with paranormal events in his neurology practice.