Abstract

In Blessed by Thunder: Memoir of a Cuban Girlhood, Flor Fernandez Barrios examines the consequences of Castro's Revolution and its silencing, censoring, and prohibitions on the writing, speaking, thinking, and performance of public rituals of communities and families. Barrios is able to use the history of storytelling and orality to integrate her roles as a daughter, granddaughter, and healer into a larger history of Cuban women who have preserved knowledge practices that exist outside of the state's masculine identity and its sanctioned social and medical institutions. As Barrios rewrites the Cuban Revolution through the collective memories of three generations of women in her family, she articulates her own Cuban-ness as well as her relationship to Afro-Cuban culture, an often-overlooked connection that tells us as much about upper-class culture on the island during this period in the early 1960s as it does about Afro-Cuban life practices such as Santería.

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