Stephen Kimber jokes that he’s in his “Cuban-ist period” though it might more appropriately be called his “Cuban Five period.”
Kimber, the award-winning author of 10 books who accidentally discovered the case of the Cuban Five while researching a novel in Havana in 2009, says he is now planning to write a second nonfiction book based on the story of the five Cuban agents who spent 16 years in American prisons before being released in an historic deal on December 17, 2014.
His original 2013 book about the case, What Lies the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five (Fernwood 2013) won the Evelyn Richardson Award for Nonfiction at the East Coast Literary Awards and was long-listed for a Libris Award as the Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of 2013.
“After they were released and I was finally able to meet and speak with them face to face,” Kimber says, “I began to realize just how much more there still is to tell.”
Kimber’s first book is a narrative account that unfolds the story of the Five from their arrival in Miami in the early 1990s to their arrests on September 12, 1998. “While I drew on the trial transcript to help me understand what they were doing in Miami,” he explains, “I chose not to focus narratively on the months they spent in pre-trial detention, their actual trial, convictions, sentencing, their long years in prison, the role of their families, the evolution of the international solidarity campaigns to free them, and, of course, the secret negotiations that ultimately led to their dramatic release and the seismic shift in US-Cuba relations that has followed. Those are all rich strands of the larger story, and will all be the focus for the second book.”
If you’d like to sign up for updates on the second book, please email stephen.Kimber@ukings.ca
Meanwhile, Nuevo Milienio, a Havana-based book publisher, is scheduled to publish a Spanish language edition of What Lies Across the Water for Cuban audiences in the late fall of 2015.
The Cuban version will be entitled: Del otro lado del mar: La verdadera historia de los Cinco cubanos. This edition will be available only in Cuba. (Other Spanish langauge rights are still available. Please contact the publisher — firstname.lastname@example.org — for details.)
The book will also be published in German. Vas Verlag, a Homburg-based published, has acquired the rights to publish the German edition.
Both the Spanish and German editions will include the epilogue, “The Happy Ending.” The English-language version is available online for free.