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Julia Cooke

Julia Cooke is the author of The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba (Seal, 2014). Her work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, the New York Times, A Public Space, Tin House, and Saveur, and has been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing 2014 and The Best Women’s Travel Writing.


Photo by Karen Ryan

Walking Away

Summer 2018 | Essays

  1. How about it? one of the men said to Karen on that first humid night in Tahiti, March 1970. The Endeavour II’s crew still numbered a few short. Her decision was immediate. She sent a letter to her supervisor at the airline she worked [...]

Photos by Julia Cooke

Vestiges of the Socialist Time

December 21, 2015 | Articles

The third installment of #VQRTrueStory—our new social-media experiment in which stories and images cross platforms, from Instagram to the website to the magazine—features Julia Cooke in Mawlamyine, Burma.

Michael Eastman

Waiting for Exile

Spring 2014 | Essays

“I think I know who can find you an apartment,” Lucía said. I was on her couch picking at its fraying white vinyl. My address book lay open on my knees. I’d moved to Cuba with two suitcases, a ten-​month student visa, plans to take a [...]

Orozco throwing boomerangs at his Pennsylvania farm, 2013. (Oskar Landi)

Circling Back

Winter 2014 | Profiles

Artist Gabriel Orozco doesn’t necessarily want to disappoint, nor does he want to fail, not in a literal sense. Rather, he wants to protect his right to be a beginner.

Photo by Jason Florio


Spring 2013 | Reporting

In light of President Obama's restoring of diplomatic relations with Cuba, VQR presents some of our best stories about the island and its people.