Think Cuba, you're likely to think bearded revolutionaries in fatigues. Salsa. Sugar cane. Rock 'n' roll, zombies, drugs - anomie and angst - do not generally figure in our mental images of a country that's assumed an outsized place in the American imagination. But fresh from the tropics, in Cuba in Splinters - a sparkling package of stories we're assured are fictional - that's exactly what you'll find. Eleven writers largely unknown outside Cuba depict a world that veers from a hyperreal Havana in decay, against a backdrop of oblivious drug-toting German tourists, to a fantasy land - or is it? - where vigilant Cubans bar the door to zombies masquerading as health inspectors. Sex and knife-fights, stutterers and addicts, losers and lost literary classics: welcome to a raw and genuine island universe closed to casual visitors.
"I took a dollar taxi. I must have fallen asleep right away next to the driver, nodding off against the seatbelt. The flight attendant was another giggling mulata who helped me with my buckle in a flash, right near the zipper of this countryless queer, right at that timeless time to close the doors and fly away from Cuba once and for all. To clear Cuba out of myself forever-another variation on a terrible outcome. The noise was deafening. How mysterious, how miraculous, how shitty."
from "The Man, the Wolf and the New Woods"