Ms. Kushner's rendering of the novel in English brilliantly demonstrates her loyalty to the author's voice. She nudges the English to give it a Cuba​n tone, respectful of the brutal efficiency of Mr. Padura's Spanish, while never sacrificing the lyrical flourishes with which he occasionally bedazzles his readers. 


Anna Kushner translates from Spanish, French, and Portuguese. She is the translator of the books Call Me Cassandra and The Black Cathedral by Marcial Gala (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), The Halfway House and Leapfrog by Guillermo Rosales (New Directions), The Autobiography of Fidel Castro by Norberto Fuentes (W.W. Norton), Jerusalem by Gonçalo Tavares (Dalkey Archive), Heretics, The Man Who Loved Dogs​, and The Transparency of Time by Leonardo Padura (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and Conversation at Princeton and Sabers and Utopias by Mario Vargas Llosa (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), among other works. In 2012, Palgrave Macmillan published her translation of The Guatemalan Truth Commission Report, edited by Daniel Rothenberg, under the title Memory of Silence. She has also translated the work of Carlos Manuel Álvarez, Phillipe Dubath, Laura Erber, Jorge Ferrer, Pablo Gutiérrez, Jorge Enrique Lage, Karla Suárez, and Raúl Rivero, among others. Anna holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.  Anna's writing has appeared in The Acentos Review, Asymptote JournalCuba CounterpointsDzanc Books Best of the Web 2008,Crab Orchard Review, Ep;phany, Newtown Literary, World Literature Today and other publications.  

- Sara Martinez, Booklist

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Kushner's nimble translation flows with flavor and intensity while telling a dark, present-day story... Gala's raw, compelling, and highly readable novel lays bare a Cuba that, just like everywhere else, has not found an answer to human envy, desperation, or evil.