Closed for Repairs

Trade Paper – $13.95

ISBN 978-1-931896-32-0
Publication Date
July 2007
Page Count
80 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5

Closed for Repairs

Nancy Alonso, translated from the Spanish by Anne Fountain

Closed for Repairs is a series of eleven vignettes that depict Cuban ingenuity in the face of urban problems. Each solution is framed with humor and irony and gives a glimpse of life on the island today.

In a clever fashion, Nancy Alonso shows us the spirit of resolve on the part of Cubans when faced with such issues as transportation problems, lack of water, and the shortage of consumer goods and construction materials caused by the embargo.

Illuminating the endurance and resilience of the Cuban people, these stories will make you chuckle. Alonso's sly wit is compelling as she satirizes the bureaucracy—an element of her work that will resonate universally.

About the Author

Nancy Alonso was an award-winning short story writer with a background in Biological Science. She published Tirar la Primera Piedra (Casting the First Stone) in 1997 and Cerrado por reparación (Closed for Repairs) in 2002. Her stories have appeared in several anthologies in Cuba and abroad. She died in 2018.

Anne Fountain is a professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at San José State University. She is the author of Versos Sencillos: A Dual-Language Edition (McFarland, 2005) and José Martí, the United States, and Race (University Press of Florida, 2014).


"In 11 too-brief, charming tales, Cuban author Alonso gently pokes fun at the irksome living conditions in her home country... Throughout, Alonso finds a redemptive humor amid privation and heartache." —Publishers Weekly

"Alonso's sparse prose and absurdist narrative move at a sprightly pace, allowing the keen wit behind the tales to sink in and provoke a thoughtful chortle and create a memorable impression of human resolve." —Booklist