Sandra Abd’Allah (Negra cubana tenía que ser) interviews Cuban writer Susana Camino for OnCuba. When she was 19 years old, Camino left the island for Germany, where she has lived for many years. Here are excerpts of her article and interview:
[. . .] In the midst of that time conflict, Camino has developed a notable literary career which has led her to present her first novel, La salahombres, in Cuba – where it was published by Extramuros – as well as in Germany and Switzerland.
I gather that your career as a writer starts and develops in Germany. How easy or difficult is it for a Caribbean writer to insert herself in the German literary world?
It wasn’t easy. Actually, I started the career on the island with the presentation of my first novel, La salahombres (Extramuros publishers, 2015). But it was a difficult challenge to get to present it. I still don’t know from where I got so much strength and optimism. I decided to continue the career in Germany and it has been worthwhile. I have been well-received by readers and the fact that I am a Cuban author is a point in my favor. There are many Germans who like Cuba and its intellectuals.
I have to work a lot, really a lot: presentations in libraries, cultural centers, [and] radio interviews. Miriam (which is the German version of La salahombres), has been having a good reception, I am very happy with the results. It’s a novel dealing with local customs, with passages that don’t exist in Germany and are typical of the island. Many readers ask me, “Did that really happen?”
[. . .] What’s the new novel you are preparing about?
I’m writing about the life of a Cuban woman who lives in Havana in the early 19th century. I go back to a harsher, more historic Cuba. We will read about the prejudices of those times, the ardent racism, the one that sets you on fire and leaves very visible wounds, in addition to the little value given to women at the time.
My principal character is a century warrior. Adored by her family and hated by mediocrity. Today, after so many years after her death, her relatives and descendants continue adoring her for all her sacrifices and charities. She is an authentic Cuban woman. [. . .]
For full interview, see http://oncubamagazine.com/culture/susana-camino-writing-between-cuba-and-germany/