Searching for Graham Greene’s Havana

1960s: Days of Rage

“It’s only when I re-read Our Man in Havana that I realized I shared a street with the hapless spy hero of Graham Greene’s novel. My own office was in a grand trading exchange in the old city that dated back to the early 20th century. At Calle Lamparilla 1, the building was just a short distance from the fictional vacuum cleaner store run by Jim Wormold. The novelist gives the address of Phastkleaners as Lamparilla 37, but I’ve walked up and down the dusty street before without locating any building with that number. There are no houses at all between 2 and 61, just a small park. This time, though, I’m returning to the search with fresh information. Calle Lamparilla cuts through the historic heart of the city down to my old office near the dock. Sidestepping a couple of elderly men playing the fool for tips at a…

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