ALEJO CARPENTIER (1904-1980) was one of the most important writers of the Latin American boom. He was born in Switzerland but grew up in Havana; his European and Latin American roots allowed him a unique insight into the relationship between the new world and the old. He was arrested in 1927 for opposing the Cuban dictator Gerardo Machado y Morales, and on his release from prison escaped the country to Paris. He traveled back to Cuba in 1936, after the regime fell, then lived for a short while in Venezuela. He returned to Cuba once again in 1959, to join Fidel Castro's revolution. He finally settled in Paris in 1966, and died there fourteen years later. FRANCES PARTRIDGE (1900-2004) was a member of the Bloomsbury group, a writer, and a translator from French and Spanish.