Sixteen-year-old Lourdes is a dedicated and proud revolutionary who spends the summer of 1982, along with her peers, at the “School-in-the-Fields,” tilling tobacco fields to prove her dedication to Fidel and the revolution.
But she is also a study of contradictions. Lourdes outwardly scoffs at the old ways but wears an azabache amulet under her clothing, next to her Che medallion, to ward off evil spirits. She secretly prays to the orisha Yemayá while she pledges her fealty to Fidel and the secular socialist ideals of her father, a professor of scientific Communism at the University of Havana. She develops a crush on her roommate at the camp, but, like many other things in the socialist regime under which she lives, same-sex relationships are forbidden. Like other girls her age, she longs to wear smuggled Jordache jeans and drink Cuban coffee, to watch American cartoons and eat steak whenever she wants. All simple pleasures, all denied her by the same revolution she serves. What she has are the harsh realities of life in a glorified work camp, which lead her to question her allegiances. Why does she want to be like Che? .
Praise for Girl Like Che Guevara
“Amusing, observant. . . . Doval’s sense of place and devastating depiction of prejudice in 1980s Cuba make this a worthwhile debut.” —The Miami Herald
“[A] piquant coming-of-age novel.” —O magazine
“Absolutely remarkable . . . explodes with brilliance.” —Carlos Eire, National Book Award-winning author of Waiting for Snow in Havana
“A rich and perceptive portrayal of daily life in Cuba.” —Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
Girl Like Che Guevara by Teresa de la Caridad Doval