Monday, September 13, 2010

Checking Out Ana Menendez

This past weekend, including Friday, I've been reading The Last War by Ana Menedez, a Cuban-American writer. To be specific about her heritage, her parents were Cuban emigres who settled in Los Angeles. The Last War is her third novel, set primarily in Istanbul, which she depicts beautifully. I am fascinated by the title of her debut novel:In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd. Her second novel, Loving Che, is her most highly acclaimed piece of fiction (about the Cuban revolutionary, Che Guevara.

In any case, The Last War has nothing not do with Cuba. The narrator is an American photographer, a Latina, married to a wunderkind American journalist. Together, they have covered wars all over the Middle East and in Sri Lanka for the past decade. Yet she doesn't follow Brando to Baghdad during the Iraq War. Something holds her back, and she remains in Istanbul, living a solitary life. Then comes the news, from an anonymous source, that her husband has a lover, and therein lies the tale. I'm two-thirds of the way through, and I must say that there is something that keeps this novel from being complete. Still, I keep reading, waiting to see what will happen and if the narrator will make her stand. She must do so or this novel is pure dust.


  1. Looks like a good book ,I ve a couple of cuban novels in my tbr pile ,but not this shall add it to my wishlist ,all the best stu

  2. Hi, Stu--
    What intrigues me is Menendez's debut, In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd. I think, as far as Cuban-American novels go, I'm going for that. Time is flying this year, though, and so do all of my TBRs, if you know what I mean!