Ghosts of Cuba

Stay Tuned - Looking for a New Publishing Home!

  

We are in the process of searching for a new publishing home for Ghosts of Cuba.  We will keep you posted.  Until then, check out the details of our story.


About Ghosts of Cuba


Two weeks after purchasing their plane tickets and against the back drop of President Donald Trump’s re-instated restrictions on travel to Cuba, MacLean and Shanta Lee Gander prepared for their first month-long visit to Cuba in December 2017. Initially started as dispatches for a local Vermont blog, their experiences shifted into something neither of them expected. Ghosts of Cuba is a new book that invites the reader to experience their month-long adventures through race, sexuality, politics alongside the ghosts that exist against the backdrop of Cuban culture. 


How was their experience colored by their interracial marriage in the middle of what felt like an intense and tumultuous time in America? Was their time in Cuba impacted by the recent strain on American-Cuban dynamics? Ghosts of Cuba raises these questions while also presenting one key question that applies to every American who continues to travel around the globe: How do we carry the baggage of a nation’s race, class, sexuality, and politics to other countries?  


In a cultural moment that seeks to re-think how we experience other cultures through our travels and how we continue to be shaped by these journeys after returning home, Ghost of Cuba adds a dimension these dialogues. This work is a snapshot of stories, reflections, and intimate conversations between a husband and wife trying to make sense of a long, complicated history between two countries.  

MEET THE AUTHORS

image7

MACLEAN (MAC) GANDER is a professor of Communications and Journalism at Landmark College, where he has worked in various roles for thirty years.  He is also an investigative journalist in Brattleboro, Vermont. He teaches courses in journalism, communications, and creative writing. Before joining Landmark, he worked as a researcher, reporter, and writer for Newsweek in Manhattan and then as a free-lance journalist in Manila during the 1986 revolution. He studied writing at Harvard with Seamus Heaney and Robert Fitzgerald, and with George Starbuck at Boston University, where he was a Hoyt Fellow in Creative Writing in 1981. His first collection of poems, The New City, was published by 21st Editions in 2007.  His reporting can be found in The Commons, Windham County’s non-profit news weekly.

image8

  

SHANTA LEE GANDER is an artist and multi-faceted professional in leadership, and other areas. As an artist, her endeavors include writing prose, poetry, investigative journalism, and photography. In Vermont, she was the first Black American to serve on the Brattleboro Selectboard.  She a managing editor of Mount Island Magazine, a literary and artistic magazine with a focus on rural LGBTQ, and POC writers and artists who struggle for visibility.  Her writing has been featured in Rebelle Society, The Commons, and on the Ms. Magazine Blog.  Shanta Lee has an MBA from the University of Hartford and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality from Trinity College.  She is currently completing her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Shanta Lee is a Hartford, Connecticut native. 

more about the book

        In 2017, American media started to use the term “Sonic attack” in describing some of the physical ailments and complaints of US diplomats in Havana, Cuba.  The complaint added stress to an already strained relationship between the two countries that is over 200 years old.  Cuba—an island that continues to live within American imagination and rich with stories of its land providing solace to everyone from American gangsters to pirates—is experienced through the lens of interracial American couple, MacLean and Shanta Lee Gander.  Bringing their different perspectives and experiences of race, gender, and class, they sought to immerse themselves in another culture for a month in December 2017.  Not fully prepared for their adventures in what they describe as an island that straddles several time periods at the same time, Ghosts of Cuba invites the reader on this adventure through these different lenses while granting an invitation to their personal questions, thoughts, and at times what they describe as paranoia, within a rich, colorful, and often complex culture.



        How was their experience colored by their interracial marriage in the middle of what felt like an intense and tumultuous time in America?  Was their time in Cuba impacted by the recent strain on American-Cuban dynamics?  This new book, Ghosts of Cuba. raises these questions while also presenting one key question that applies to every American who continues to travel around the globe:  How do we carry the baggage of a nation’s race, class, sexuality, and politics to other countries?  How does this impact our experience and responsibilities as global citizens amidst political turmoil within our home country?



        In a cultural moment that seeks to rethink how we experience other cultures through our travels and how we continue to be shaped by these journeys after returning home, Ghost of Cuba is among the books to read adding a dimension to this conversation.  This work is also a snapshot of stories and conversations between a husband and wife trying to make sense of a long, complicated history between two countries.

Want in on the conversation? Join Our Email List

Receive teasers, some behind the scenes on our process of creating this new book, and more!