Cuban-born writer Armando Lucas Correa, chief editor of the magazine People in spanish for 14 years, presents the night travelerthe last installment of a trilogy started with the german girl.
Born in Cuba in 1959, the year of the triumph of the revolution, and exiled in the United States since he was 30 years old, Correa told efe that the night travelerwhich will go on sale at the beginning of January, is his “most Cuban” novel so far.
— Armando Lucas Correa (@ArmandoCorrea) December 6, 2022
What the german girl (2016) and the forgotten daughter (2019) was originally written in Spanish and translated into English in parallel with his participation. It tells a multigenerational story in which four women, members of the same family, face political, economic and social situations that force them to emigrate to different countries in search of safety.
One of them is Lilith, who as a child was sent by her mother to America to save her from Nazism and ended up in Cuba. 20 years later, she repeats her story by sending her two-year-old daughter Nadine to the US through the Operation Peter Panwhich involved 14,000 Cuban children.
ABANDONMENT, THE ONLY SALVATION
In the 1930s, some 10,000 Jewish children were sent to the United Kingdom to prevent them from being victims of Nazism, recalls Correa, who points out that at the time he was writing the night traveler The crisis of Central American minors arriving in the US unaccompanied was taking place on the border with Mexico.
“Sometimes abandonment is the only way to salvation,” says the writer to point out that parents who in extreme circumstances decide to separate from their children should not be questioned.
the night traveler It is linked to the two previous novels in the trilogy by the “Saint Louis”, the ship with more than 900 Jews fleeing Nazism that Canada, Cuba and the United States did not allow to touch their ports in 1939. Only 28 passengers were able to disembark in Havana and the rest had to return to Europe on the same ship and many ended up in Nazi death camps.
Correa is a specialist in the “Saint Louis” tragedy and even has a collection of objects from the ship, such as the captain’s diary.
His three historical novels have emerged from elements that were appearing in the investigation of almost ten years that he carried out for the german girla success translated into 14 languages.
“I am essentially a journalist. I started my career as a journalist and I believe that the journalist is always there, ”he says about the zeal he puts into the investigation prior to his works.
As in his previous works, including the first, looking for emma (2015), the central characters of the night traveler they are women. The novel that Correa is working on now, what we were yesterdayis inspired by his grandmother, who was the daughter of Spanish immigrants and was a very important woman to him.
Another story in the works, for which the movie rights have already been purchased, is a “thriller” starring a 28-year-old woman who lives in an apartment in modern-day Manhattan.
When asked when he will write a novel with a male lead, Correa, a “full-time writer” since he left his post at February 2022, People in spanishannounces that it is already on its way.
INSULARITY AS A BRAND
“The never-never islands”, still unpublished, is a story of three children who each live on an island, in Germany, the United States and Cuba, and a response to his son Lucas’ claim.
The insularity touches Correa very directly, who when he lived in Cuba felt “claustrophobic” and at the same time obsessed with accessing the information that did not arrive due to “the dictatorship”: “Cuba is a torment” says someone, despite having family that helped the revolution succeed, understood that he could not live in a country where he could end up in a prison or in a concentration camp for homosexuals.
When bilateral relations thawed during the Presidency of Barack Obama, Correa was in Cuba and brought 300 copies of the german girl that he was going to give away and they were confiscated, according to what he told efe. “When you go there you realize that Cuba still hurts you,” says this exiled writer who considers it “sad” that the world easily rejects right-wing dictatorships, but does not act in the same way with those of the left, which “are terrible and They last longer.”