Poet and novelist Pablo Medina’s Cubop City Blues, fuses raw, passionate language and elegant lyricism to breathe life into a musically disguised New York City, shaped by jazz masters, refugees, and storytellers.
Our guide into Cubop City is The Storyteller, born nearly blind and shrouded in his mother’s guilt. He’s homeschooled inside his parents’ crumbling apartment with a European housekeeper, and educated through The Encyclopedia Britannica, The Bible, and The Arabian Nights. When he’s twenty-five, his mother and father, both Cuban exiles, are diagnosed with cancer, and The Storyteller alone is left to care for them. He does so by telling them stories, conceived from the prolific reading that allowed his imagination to deepen and flourish despite little contact with the outside world.
Through his tales—full of magic, sorrow, longing, and romance—Cubop City surges colorfully to life. Molded in the cadence and harmony of Afro-Cuban jazz, Cubop City Blues is a symphonic portrait of a bustling urban landscape and the intimate lives and stories that give a city its voice.
Pablo Medina was born in Havana. He is the author of thirteen books of fiction, nonfiction, translation, and poetry, including the newest translation of Lorca’s A Poet in New York, co-authored with Mark Statman. Medina lives in Boston and teaches at Emerson College.
Visit his website at pablomedina.org