Making Havana his stomping grounds
Leonardo Padura is dubbed the “Hammett of Havana” with good reason, as his Mario Conde novels explore the noir underbelly of his chosen city. He talks to the Guardian about how his work reflects his country’s reality, crime fiction influences and changing the titles for British publication:
The novels in the British editions have had their titles changed so
that they feature Havana for the obvious reasons of its cachet. “If I
had been born in San Jose, Costa Rica, it wouldn’t have worked,” he
says with a smile. He has no intention of moving abroad. “When there
are all these social and economic problems, I have the good fortune to
live in another reality, whether it is with Trotsky or with Mario
Conde. That helps me to keep my mental health. It is my personal
decision to live here – I have a very close personal relationship with
this town and with this house. I need to live here to work, to write.
Sometimes, like almost all Cubans, I would like to be far away but
sometimes, when I am far away, like almost all Cubans, I would like to
His next work is about the assassination of Leon Trotsky, which sounds like something I’ll definitely have to pick up.