Dr. Ángel Esteban. El hombre que amaba los sueños: Leonardo Padura entre Cuba y España (The Man that Loved Dreams: Leonardo Padura Between Cuba and Spain) Brussels: Peter Lang, 2018. This book studies the works of Padura in the context of Transatlantic Studies, that, since the first babblings of this century, have begun to construct a useful and fertile way to connect literature to the culture on both sides of the ocean. The book begins by situating the Cuban narrator within the Peninsular context, as he began to travel to Spain in the mid-nineties and became well-known after winning the Premio Gafé Gijón and publishing his works through the Editorial Tusquets. Next, the study examines how his works have evolved in the new millennium toward a progressive internationalization of his themes, combining the clearly insular universe of the first Mario Conde, police officer during the “Special Period in Time of Peace” of Cuba, with elements that refer time and again to Spain and Europe, such as the Spanish Civil War, the boom of Fascism and Stalinism in the mid-twentieth century, and the exile of Cubans to Spain and the United States. The book ends with an examination of how film and literature come together as the transatlantic continues to be one of Padura’s central concepts. The context of globalization has left its mark on an island that still looks inward but that, at the same time, is anxious to unburden itself from the destiny that Virgilio Piñera defined as “the aggravating circumstance of being surrounded by water.”
This study represents the first approach to the complete works of the Cuban narrator that examines not only the technical devices and thematic elements that populate his fiction, but also the journey of the reception of the works of Padura outside of the borders of the island.