Cuba Designates Home of Alejo Carpentier as National Heritage Site

Cuba Designates Home of Alejo Carpentier as National Heritage SiteHAVANA, April 18th   Cuba has declared the home of late writer and journalist Alejo Carpentier a national heritage site, state-run media said on Tuesday.

Signed by Culture Minister Abel Prieto, the declaration aims to preserve the writer’s residence in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood.

The son of a French architect and a Russian teacher, Carpentier (1904-1980) pioneered the “magical realism” literary genre, and his work includes “El reino de este mundo” (The Kingdom of This World) and his foremost novel “El siglo de las luces” (The Century of Lights).

During his youth, he came into contact with Spain’s literary avant-garde, collaborating with members of the Generation of ‘27 movement, among which were the poets Pedro Salinas, Rafael Alberti and Federico Garcia Lorca.

Carpentier returned to Cuba following the triumph of Fidel Castro’s communist revolution in 1959, and obtained a position as the first head of the Editora Nacional publishing house and the vice president of the National Council of Culture.

Carpentier died in France in 1980, while serving as a senior diplomatic official at the Cuban Embassy in Paris.

After his widow’s death in 2008, their house in Vedado became a research center, library and museum, as well as the headquarters of the Alejo Carpenter Foundation – created two years after his death – which is devoted to preserving the legacy of the first Latin American recipient of the Cervantes Prize in 1977.