Cover of Goodbye, My Havana by Anna Veltfort
Goodbye, My Havana
The Life and Times of a Gringa in Revolutionary Cuba
Anna Veltfort

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September 2019
240 pages.
$24.00

Paper ISBN: 9781503610491

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An eyewitness account of idealism, self-discovery, and loss under one of the twentieth-century's most repressive political regimes

Set against a backdrop of world-changing events during the headiest years of the Cuban Revolution, Goodbye, My Havana follows young Connie Veltfort as her once relatively privileged life among a community of anti-imperialist expatriates turns to progressive disillusionment and heartbreak. The consolidation of Castro's position brings violence, cruelty, and betrayal to Connie's doorstep. And the crackdown that ultimately forces her family and others to flee for their lives includes homosexuals among its targets—Connie's coming-of-age story is one also about the dangers of coming out. Looking back with a mixture of hardheaded clarity and tenderness at her alter ego and a forgotten era, with this gripping graphic memoir Anna Veltfort takes leave of the past even as she brings neglected moments of the Cold War into the present.

About the author

Anna Veltfort is a graphic designer and illustrator who lives in New York.

"Anna Veltfort's graphic novel is both historically important and utterly engaging. Her early life, in which she brushed shoulders with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara while navigating the dangers of a hidden queer existence, is portrayed in exquisite, uncompromising, and impeccably researched detail, all in the 'clear line' style of Hergé's Tintin. This remarkable and heartfelt book is a loving ode to Cuba, a cautionary tale about the politics of oppression, and proof positive that the personal is always political and the political always personal."

—Justin Hall, editor of No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics

"With clear and striking images, Veltfort's insider/outsider view of 1960s Cuba offers a resonant glimpse into an often misunderstood time and place. From moment to moment, readers will find themselves both riveted and wonderfully informed."

—Chantel Acevedo, author of The Distant Marvels: A Novel

"The combination of features that make Veltfort's experience and its representation here unique is mindboggling. This story of a woman and a nation simultaneously coming of age, their histories inextricably bound together during each of their most formative years, is like no other book I know of."

—Alejandro Velasco, New York University

"A lovely and sensitive graphic memoir that retraces the life experiences of a thoughtful young woman trying to find her own way among ambivalent Cubans and sanctimonious expats in the early days of revolutionary Cuba. I rooted for Anna on every page."

—Sherine F. Hamdy, University of California, Irvine