Essay on Chinese influence in Cuban literature wins prestigious award

Rogelio Rodríguez’s El rastro chino en la literatura cubana [Chinese Traces in Cuban Literature] has won Cuba’s 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award. His essay examines the presence of Chinese culture in Cuban literature.

The emblematic Paradiso, by José Lezama Lima, or Mi tío, el empleado, by Ramón Meza, are two of the works that Rogelio Rodríguez examined in his original essay El rastro chino en la literatura cubana, a recent winner of the National Prize of the Círculo de Book Critics 2020.

The common thread of the work is the tradition that has managed to take root, through generations of Chinese descendants, in the cultural heart of the island, to sustain a fluid dialogue between two peoples so geographically distant.

Rodríguez has highlighted in his public statements the sustained interest that is observed in the Republic of China to promote the study of Spanish language. This foundation is what would currently allow a constant and fertile dialogue between the Caribbean and the Asian giant. He proposes that Cuba become the intermediary between the Chinese people and Spanish-speaking communities.

Rogelio Rodríguez Coronel is a regular in Cuban and international philological magazines. He is President of the Advisory Council of the Editorial Letras Cubanas of the Cuban Book Institute. Rodríguez Coronel belongs to the Scientific Council of the University of Havana. He has published a dozen works on the Cuban literature of the Revolution and Panamanian Literature.

He has been a visiting professor at Spanish, German, Bulgarian and Russian universities. His academic career, full of awards and public recognition, culminated on June 13, 2016, when he was elected director of the Cuban Academy of the Language.

In Rodríguez’s work, the international dimension is highly appreciated. He has not only studied the narrative of the Cuban Revolution (1981, 1986 and 2000), but has also dealt with the Mexican Revolution (1975). He directs the Transatlantic Literary Studies association, which has headquarters in Spain, the United States and Cuba.

At the moment, the author is expanding the award-winning essay with new discoveries that he will add to the final version of the work, when it will be published in book form. Restrictions caused by Covid-19 allowed him to continue updating his research. The award will be presented to him during the 30th Havana International Book Fair (date to be announced).

Many thanks to Peter Jordens for sharing all related links.

For original article see and Also see:,, and

Book Information: Rogelio Rodríguez Coronel
Editorial Universidad de La Habana, 2019
205 pages
ISBN 978-9597251347

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