By Jorge Enrique Lage
Translated by Lourdes Molina
An award-winning cyberpunk novel set in mid-21st century Cuba, Freeway: La Movie crosses the absurdity of American pop culture with the deep, fragmented unease of Cuban-US relations.
Publication Date: August 9, 2022
A novel-in-stories set in mid-twenty-first century dystopian Havana, Freeway narrates the adventure of two misfits wandering the construction site of a colossal freeway-to-be — a mysterious feat of engineering that slices through Havana, designed to connect the US and Cuba. The two embark on a futile journey, overlaid with the elusive filming of a documentary about the freeway construction. Both film quality and interior monologues drift aimlessly, haunted by Cuban history and US pop culture.
Freeway: La Movie is a satirical novel that attempts to reconcile what might be hopelessly irreconcilable: the body and the machine; analog and digital; post-industrial overdevelopment and post-socialist underdevelopment; Cuba and the US; reality and fiction; the plasticity of personal identity and rigid categories such as gender, class, and nationality. Through the clash of utopian promises and dystopian realities, Freeway reveals the unease of contemporary culture from the US to Cuba.
Jorge Enrique Lage is a Cuban novelist and short story writer. He is also the editor of the magazine El cuentero and the publishing house Caja China of the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Literary Training Center. Formerly a biochemist at the University of Havana, he quit the biosciences right after graduating with honors to pursue a career as a writer. His stories have appeared in anthologies and magazines in Cuba and abroad. His story “Bitches” was published in McSweeney’s 46: Thirteen Crime Stories from Latin America and his story “Epílogo con superhéroe y Fidel” appeared in the anthology Cuba in Splinters: Eleven Stories from the New Cuba (OR Books, 2014).
Lourdes Molina teaches Spanish language and Spanish and Spanish American literature at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Texas at Dallas in 20th-century Latin American literature and history, focusing on Cuban studies and literary translation.