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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 [private]

Summer 2018 | Essays

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 for and told [...]

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.