The Havana Papers

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With a 1958 portable typewriter in his suitcase, the writer wanders Havana’s crumbling back alleys, bullet-sprayed museums, and grand hotels where the relics of the Revolution and the ghost of Hemingway still speak loudly. ?Whether getting grifted while watching a dubiously-billed piano player from the Buena Vista Social Club, dodging grifters and conmen, or wandering amongst over a million marble graves, The Havana Papers offers a rare glimpse into old Havana—a UNESCO World Heritage site—in the 21st Century. When his typewriter breaks in transit, the writer is forced to reconsider his writing holiday and put his novel on hold, until a new story emerges from the vibrance and history in the Old City—Habana Vieja. Travel beyond the postcard pictures and vibrant colours of the tourist facade, and into a world forgotten by time's advance, frozen in a fifties' imagination, and aching under the strain of modernity. Recipient of a 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for non-fiction, The Havana Papers reveals a complex, contemporary portrait of one of the world's great historic cities. The print edition includes 16 photographs by the author throughout his travels that are new to this printing and not included in the eBook version.


Michael received the 2016 First Horizon Award for an outstanding debut novel, and The Havana Papers received an Eric Hoffer Award for non-fiction. First published as a poet, Michael’s work has appeared in independent publications in Ontario, the United Kingdom, and New York. Michael writes and produces the comedy podcast series Rodney Spitz, P.I. and lives in Kitchener, Ontario.