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Revolutionary Read
By Verky Arcos

Author InvernA Lockpez travels back in time to 1960s Havana for her new graphic novel about life in cuba during the dawn of the castro regime.


In Cuba: My revolution , a

fictionalized account of first-time author Inverna Lockpez’s life, a 17-year-old aspiring painter named Sonia puts her dreams aside to join Fidel Castro’s militia. As she defends Fidel’s ideals, she endures sleepless nights, a broken heart, imprisonment and torture by her own comrades as a volunteer medic at the Bay of Pigs— all culminating with Sonia having to choose between her beloved country, family and lover, and a chance to start anew in America. Here, Lockpez tells us what compelled her to write the novel, which features art by Eisner Award–nominated artist Dean Haspiel. After all these years, what made you decide to go back and write this novel? It was the misinformation. I’d go to dinner and I would have people come up to me and be like, “Fidel is so great, you have the best medicine in the world.” So I said, “Things are getting cloudy; I really have to tell this story.” Why a graphic novel? I’m a painter and respond to visual statements rather than writing, so it was perfect for me. Your language has to be very precise, and I love precision. Your novel has been compared to Iranian author and artist Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, but how would you say it’s different? I think Persepolis was totally autobiographical. Cuba: My Revolution is a work of fiction based on true events. The majority of the events are real, but many of the characters are a combination of people that I knew. How hard was it for you to relive that time in your life? I had a lot of flashbacks. I remember watching a movie in my house and there was a scene where the police were hosing a bunch of students down. I jumped from the couch, hid in the back and got down to the floor, so

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phOTO ILLusTrATION by thomas allen

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The book ($17, is available now.

In Graphic Detail

other Must–reads this Month
Manolo’s New Shoes
by Manolo blahnik

(Monacelli Press, $32; out Oct. 26)

Manolo blahnik’s lavishly illustrated new book is an intimate collection of more than 130 drawings that give insight into his creative process. Though he has been designing since 1971, the book is organized thematically to showcase the shoe designer’s contemporary inspirations, interests and passions, from Africa to architecture.

Cuban Ballet
by octavio Roca

there were aspects that were difficult. Did reliving your experiences help you heal at all? It helped me reflect on the endurance we have as people. Sometimes when things happen so many years ago, you think, “Did I really go through that?” For most of the book, Sonia seems to be in denial about what’s happening in the Castro regime. At what point

did you come to terms with what was really going on? I wouldn’t call it denial. I would call it believing what was communicated to the country. You don’t want to believe that your president, your priest, your guru, is a sinner. I was very idealistic. Did the experience change your ability to trust people? The thing that changed was realizing that you can’t put your heroes on pedestals, because they are very much like us. Power is an aphrodisiac; it corrupts people. I trust in people, but I believe that we are all human beings, therefore we all have weaknesses.

born in havana, roca, a dance and theater critic, records the life of prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso and details aspects of the Cuban dancer experience from the establishment of the ballet Nacional de Cuba to emigration.

(Gibbs Smith, $27; out now)

Vida by PatRicia EngEl
(Grove Press, $10; out now)

The Tattoo Chronicles
by kat von D

Illustrator Dean Haspiel and author Inverna Lockpez pair up.

Do you see Cuba’s situation improving anytime soon? I don’t see any changes. That’s why the book is dedicated to the people of Cuba everywhere For more fall who have not been reading suggestions, heard. go to

following her New york Times bestseller, High Voltage Tattoo, kat Von D’s newest book is an intimate look at the artist’s work, complete with sketches, candid photos and anecdotes. fans will love the array of clients featured here, including rock guitarists Dave Navarro and Metallica’s kirk hammett. —Nicola Paracchini

(Harper Collins, $20; out Oct. 26)

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p h O T O g r A p h s : C O u r T e s y O f D C C O M I C s ( T O p); J e N f e r g u s O N .

patricia engel’s three-part narrative portrays the life of sabina, a Colombian American girl confronting her shifting identity over three decades, from her small New Jersey hometown to Manhattan, then Miami. Though this is her first book, engel has already made a big impression among the literati. Junot Díaz calls her “gloriously gifted and alarmingly intelligent.”