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October 14, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
In-Person: An Evening with Lisandro Pérez
Books & Books and the Cuban Heritage Collection present…
AN EVENING WITH LISANDRO PÉREZ
(New York University Press, $30.00)
Saturday, October 14th, 7:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables
Books & Books and the Cuban Heritage Collection are thrilled to present an evening with award-winning author, Lisandro Pérez, to discuss his intriguing book: The House on G Street: A Cuban Family Saga (New York University Press, $30.00).
This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.
About the Book:
The unforgettable story of a family swept into history by the Cuban Revolution.
In The House on G Street, award-winning author Lisandro Pérez tells Cuba’s story through the lens of a single family: his own. His book relays the tales of two officers who fought against the Spanish for Cuban independence; a plantation owner who smuggles himself onto a ship; families divided by political loyalties; an orphaned boy from central Cuba who would go on to amass a fortune; a fatal love triangle; violence; and the ever-growing presence of the United States. It all culminates with an unforgettable portrait of a childhood spent in a world that was giving way to another one. The House on G Street is a unique depiction of one of the most consequential events of the twentieth century, told through generations of ancestors whose lives were shaped by dramatic historical forces.
Pérez disentangles the complex history by following his family’s thread, imbuing political events with personal meaning. Their story begins with emigration to Cuba and follows the waning years of the colony. The end of Spanish rule gives way to pervasive American influence, and Perez’s family turned to New York as they adapted to the realities of a new republic with compromised sovereignty: privileged educations in boarding schools in Long Island and the Hudson Valley; a family business that took tobacco leaves from the soil of central Cuba to the docks of the East River; and grandparents who met and fell in love one night in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. His family learned to navigate the uneasy relationship between the United States and Cuba, a relationship that was destined to end in dramatic fashion.
More than sixty years later, the Cuban Revolution resists receding into the past, sparking continued discussion, debate, and reinterpretation. There is a great deal that is known about the broad historical conditions that inexorably pushed Cuba towards revolution, but much less is known about the people who lived that dramatic history. It is a story that, if not recovered and told, will be lost, for P rez’s ancestors lived in a world that no longer exists, swept away by a tide of revolutionary change.
The House on G Street follows a family whose lives mirror the history of a nation. The result is a compelling blend of memoir and in-depth historical research, a remarkable new view of the path to revolution as seen from the first person.
About the Author:
Lisandro Pérez is Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at John Jay College, City University of New York. For twenty-five years he was on the faculty at Florida International University, where he founded and directed the Cuban Research Institute. Pérez has served as editor of the journal Cuban Studies and co-authored The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States (Allyn & Bacon, 2003). His most recent previous book, Sugar, Cigars, and Revolution: The Making of Cuban New York (NYU Press, 2018), won the Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York history, awarded by the New York Academy of History. Pérez was awarded the 2023 Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Contributions to Cuban Studies by the Latin American Studies Association.