«Go to Cuba», the tourists say, «before it’s too late». «The island is changing», the experts say.
There are few real inside stories from Cuba. Journalists tend to travel there when something happens, and then leave. Ståle Wig did not – he stayed for years.
When Norwegian anthropologist Ståle Wig moves to Havana to write his phd on Cuba, he starts driving a taxi to get to know the people. And discovers a different story about the Cubans. Havana Taxi is the true story of three individuals and a taxi, set in the shadow of the recent changes in Cuba – the connection to the internet, the opening to the United States, and the death of Fidel Castro.
Norges, Linet, and Catalina seize the new opportunities. Norges starts a blog criticizing the authorities. Linet opens a private rental business. Catalina, once a child of the revolution and now an inspector for one of Havana’s largest hotels, sets up a taxi service together with the author. But soon, they notice how their dreams and initiatives collide with old, ingrained structures. Cuba’s great transformation is not what it seems.
Wig writes excitingly, almost fictionally. We feel the cold sweat on his body when he describes the sight of a police checkpoint further down the road, knowing that they can put a stop to his driver activity at any time. He tells the life story of his friends openly and closely […] so that they become a living, human contrast to a faceless system.
Highly readable […] The author has collected and put together episodes and events that give a credible picture of life in Cuba. In my opinion he has done an outstanding job […] Highly recommended!
In Havana Taxi, [Ståle Wig] writes like a novelist. […] As the book draws to a close, and a violent crescendo – Hurricane Irma – washes over Havana, the language is powerful and rich in imagery. But Havana Taxi is non-fiction prose. And what a prose it is.
There are elements of both Graham Green and John Le Carré in this powerful new documentary … Havana Taxi is a very good book about modern Cuba. It provides insight into a wide range of experiences of living on the island, and paints a nuanced picture of life there.
An up-to-date and moving documentary about ordinary people and the dream of a better life in Cuba.
Torgrim Eggen, novelist
Cuba comes alive through the eyes of a taxi. A moving and honest portrait.
Simen Sætre, Author