2020 Longlist

The Art of White Roses


2020 Longlist

It is 1957 in Marianao, a suburb on the outskirts of Havana. Adela Santiago is thirteen years old and lives with her mother, father, brother, and grandfather. And yet something is amiss. Her neighbours are disappearing. One by one they are being abducted in the night and no one knows who is responsible. Not only that, but her parents marriage seems to be disintegrating before her, and her sixteen-year-old cousin is involved with a bombing at the Hotel Nacional.

Welcome to a world where the sight of police officers shooting citizens in broad daylight is a normalcy, where every day there is a higher body count than the day before, where in the cramped pews of churches, in the creaking wood of people’s front porches, in the floating smoke of backwards Havana alleys, a revolution is brewing. Welcome to Cuba.

About the Author

Viviana Prado-Núñez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is currently an undergraduate student at Columbia University in the City of New York. She won the 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. The Art of White Roses is her first novel.

Librarian’s Comments

The Art of White Roses is a striking debut novel with a cast of engaging characters. Told through the eyes of a 13 year old who live with her family in Marianao, a quiet suburb six miles away from Old Havana, the novel gives an intimate view of the struggles of the working people fighting for independence fuelled by a burning desire to end corruption. It is a sharp-eyed study of power, community, questioning values and the contradictory messages of adults. Jamaica Library Service, Jamaica



Papillote Press


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