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July 8, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

In-Person: An Evening with José García-Pedrosa & Dr. Rolando Montoya


July 8, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


zArchive1-Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134 United States
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Books & Books presents…


in conversation with

Dr. Rolando Montoya


Pensándolo Bien: Una ensalada de ensayos con aliño picante / On Further Thought: A Salad of Essays with a Spicy Dressing

Saturday, July 8th, 6:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


Books & Books is thrilled to present an in-person evening with José García-Pedrosa to discuss his bilingual collection of essays: Pensándolo Bien: Una ensalada de ensayos con aliño picante / On Further Thought: A Salad of Essays with a Spicy DressingHe will be in conversation with Dr. Rolando Montoya!

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event so make sure to stay after the talk for a book signing! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

About the Book:

This book — a collection of essays on a variety of subjects — is not a book for dogmatic or intransigent or fearful readers. It is a book for what Steve Jobs called “the round pegs in the square holes, the rebels, the troublemakers”, for those bold enough to challenge, to question, to think again. It is not a novel, yet it displays a novelty not previously — perhaps ever — seen: a book actually written in two languages, not translated, but written originally in two languages, so as to preserve the style and the beauty of both languages, avoiding literal translations. In addition, as the reader will note, all of the pages written in one language appear on even-numbered pages, and all of the pages written in the other language appear on odd-numbered pages. The format is such that the pages that face each other coincide in both languages, and the paragraphs and many of the lines also match — so that, for example, when the book is opened to page 17 on the left (in Spanish) with page 18 on the right (in English), the same text appears in both languages simultaneously, to the extent that linguistic differences in expression permit it. The cover of the book reflects its format, with Cervantes and the Spanish title and subtitle on the left side, and Shakespeare and the English title and subtitle on the right side.

The book also “corrects” numerous examples of the delicious errors that history insists on repeating, such as incorrectly declaring January 1, 2000 as the start of the 21st century (in Chapter 1); the idea that in 1492 many Europeans feared that Columbus’ ships would fall off the flat Earth (in Chapter 3); George Washington’s supposed refusal to lie about cutting down a cherry tree (in Chapter 7); the issue of whether Mother Teresa fulfilled the requirements for sainthood (in the Preface) — and many more. Delicious errors they are, because they conjoin the credulity of many people with their desire to give life a romantic touch. In the case of Cervantes and Shakespeare, the greatest literary figures in their respective languages, whose images grace the cover of this book, it is deliciously wrong (and unnecessary) for humanity to weep the loss of those two giants on April 23rd as the date on which both of them died because, in fact, neither of them died on April 23, 1616, nor on the same day, as explained in the Preface.

Stimulated by the works of two brilliant essayists, Mariano José de Larra (Spanish, 19th century) and Christopher Hitchens (British, 21st century), García-Pedrosa attempts to emulate the boldness of those two great writers, their brazen efforts to defy conventional thinking, and the accuracy and devastating impact of their learned literary scalpels. The result is a restatement of the topics discussed, sometimes in charming ways but often in provocative and at times in insolent terms, taking the reader out of his/her comfort zone, and daring the reader to reconsider established beliefs and perhaps to change them — “on further thought”.

About the Author:

José García-Pedrosa was born in Havana and migrated to the United States in 1960, some two years after Fidel Castro took over the government of Cuba. He finished high school in Miami and received a scholarship to Harvard, which conferred on him the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with honors, in 1968. He then earned the degree of Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School and began the practicing law in Miami, where he helped found the Cuban-American Bar Association and Facts About Cuban Exiles (FACE) and became active in other civic and professional groups. After 11 years as a private commercial litigator, he was appointed Miami City Attorney. Later returning to private practice, he founded the law firm of Tew & García-Pedrosa. He was a lead counsel in a lawsuit filed in 1994 by volunteer Cuban-American lawyers on behalf of thousands of rafters that the U.S. Government had interdicted in the waters between Cuba and the U.S. and sent to Guantanamo before that venue was used to detain accused terrorists. He later became one of the volunteer lawyers representing the young Cuban rafter Elián González and his Miami family in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the U.S. Government from sending him back to Cuba.

In 1995 then-Miami Beach Mayor and retired Judge Seymour Gelber sponsored the author for appointment as Miami Beach City Manager. At the end of 1997, the events related in his first book, America’s Casablanca: A ‘True Novel’ about Miami’s Emergence from Bankruptcy and Corruption, led him to resign from that position to accept appointment as Miami City Manager. After a tumultuous tenure also described in that book, having been fired three times in two weeks by the then-Miami Mayor and reinstated twice by a unanimous City Commission, the author returned to the private practice of law. He ran for Mayor of Miami in 2001 but was not elected, whereupon he was hired to run the National Parkinson Foundation. Six years later he resigned to return to the practice of law until his retirement in 2019.

The author resides in Florida with his life partner, Dr. Norma Martin Goonen, a noted academic. He has two children and, at last count, six beautiful grandchildren.

About the Moderator:

Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Dr. Rolando Montoya, a retired MDC provost and former MDC Trustee, as Interim college president.

Prior to his retirement in 2016, Dr. Montoya served as college provost. During his three decades at MDC, he also served as Wolfson Campus president, dean of academic affairs, chairperson of business, and professor of accounting, finance, economics, and statistics.

Dr. Montoya earned a doctorate in higher education administration and master’s degree in finance from Florida International University. He completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Technological Institute of Monterrey, Mexico, and a licentiate degree in business from the University of Costa Rica.

In addition, he is a certified management accountant, previously working in the consular corps and very active in the region’s business organizations including the Downtown Development Authority.