26

MONDAY

I have to admit, I’ve had a few steamy thoughts about him myself. What warm-blooded lefty-leaning woman hasn’t? Ana Menéndez clearly understands the lure: Her new book, Loving Che, is a fictional account of an ardent affair with the swarthy idealist-revolutionary. Left with nothing but a few scribbles from a Pablo Neruda poem and the taciturn grandfather who raised her in Miami after fleeing the revolution, a restless Cuban-American woman has never known her mother, Theresa. Her inquiries during several trips to Cuba are fruitless, until one day she receives a box containing writings and photographs—pieces of Theresa’s past and the story of her romance with Argentine Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Menéndez paints the relationship with the bright-but-peeling colors of a culture ebullient with excitement both joyous and horrifying, and Theresa’s desires mirror the turmoil in her home country—she is hungry for change but justifiably terrified of the consequences. Menéndez reads at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-4227. (Anne Marson)