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September 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
In Person: An Evening with Tatiana Pages-Cortiñas
Books & Books presents…
AN EVENING WITH TATIANA PAGES-CORTIÑAS
The Admiral, The Ballerina and Mr. Switche: A ménage a trois between three unexpected allies in a time full of power, dictatorships, espionage, glamour, intrigue and romance.
Saturday, September 9th, 7:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables
Books & Books is thrilled to present an evening with Tatiana Pages-Cortiñas for her intriguing book: The Admiral, The Ballerina and Mr. Switche: A ménage a trois between three unexpected allies in a time full of power, dictatorships, espionage, glamour, intrigue and romance.
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:
It is striking to discover that your parents were double-agents, especially if you can’t ask them any questions.
My name is Tatiana Pagés-Cortiñas, I have been married for more than 25 years to Alberto Tomás Cortiñas Estrella. Code-named “Chacho”, he was a hostage-alibi of his father, Ex-Admiral of the Dominican Navy Tomás Cortiñas Criado; a CIA and FBI double-agent, a hero, a Casanova, and a spy together with his wife Olga Estrella Martinez, the daughter of a poisoned Ex-President. For years, Chacho was exposed to unusual people and situations and seven years ago, when we started connecting the dots, we discovered this amazing story.
“The Admiral, The Ballerina and Mr. Switche”, is a conceptual “ménage à trois.” This couple’s romance was interlaced with espionage hidden behind their Admiral and Ballerina roles and with Mr. Switche, a code-name for the US undercover agents and entities behind their missions. Strategy was the link that connected these three unexpected allies. Led by several CIA chiefs and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, they were spies in dangerous missions starting with the Era of Dominican Dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, through The Dominican Revolution of 1965 and continuing their espionage work in the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe during the Cold War.
It is the story of a man and a woman “captive” in an unforgiving time, interpreting contrasting roles in the different layers of society. A story of the confluence of militia and art, equidistant to disdain and injustice, a story of love and the adversities of everyday life. Intrigue and strategy in a stage full of terror and elegance under bloody dictatorships both military, as well as communist.
31 oral history interviews, 400 photographs (authorized/owned), approximately 300 books and articles about the characters and friends prove that the official story, although widespread, still contains seducing secrets.
The story, told in almost 400 pages, describes Tomás’ life – a machinist who became Rear Admiral of Trujillo’s Navy, and who would be key in orchestrating El Generalissimo Trujillo’s assassination, together with his wife Olga, in the turbulent Ciudad Trujillo, and how they became spies to execute the first of many important missions. The way they lived and suffered in a period the country still ironically refers to as the “Belle Époque.” An époque that I have renamed “The Époque des Beaux; times of Tropical Dandyism.” A time of macho power, glamour, intrigue and romance.
There are many books about the Era of the Dictator Trujillo, his family, and the 30 years of emotional unrest and pain they provoked. Most tend to recycle the same facts in a myopic regurgitation of an already described past. Almost none contain the no filter anecdotes and the behind the scenes of the undercover characters who strategized his assassination.
A relevant story in a time full of dictatorships. A life lesson beyond a historical narrative. Everyone who participated thinks this publication relates not only to their stories but also their fears, their double standards, as well as their heroic acts.
That is why we decided to tell this story from a novel perspective and not as another book of facts, thus revealing the protagonists’ internal conflicts. Conflicts such as Olga marrying someone who worked for her father’s assassin and Tomás masterminding to kill the man who trained him to be the top-notch professional he always dreamed to become.
About the Author:
Tatiana Pagés-Cortiñas is the daughter of a Catalonian father and a Chilean mother. She was raised in Chile, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. She worked and lived in Chicago, Colombia, Barcelona, and now lives in Manhattan with her husband and 26-year-old daughter. She holds a Bachelor in Communication Arts from University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign and Universidad de Barcelona. Her experience in investigative and consumer research in Latin America and with Latinos in the US makes her an expert researcher, fact finder, reporter and human truths digger.
Tatiana comes from an entrepreneurial background using the power of strategy and design thinking as gateway to innovation. Her expertise in cross-cultural markets enabled her to put together the multicultural story of “The Admiral, the Ballerina, and Mr. Switche” in this work of narrative nonfiction.
Tatiana’s writing skills began by developing strategic rationals and articles such as “The Life of Charles Bluhdorn.” Her expertise in cross-cultural markets enabled her to breach the threshold of storytelling from narrative to fiction.
She has been a faculty member of the Altos de Chavon School of Design, Parsons affiliated, for 5 years, and founded the “Origomu” movement, transforming urban debris into Objet-Trouvé Artwear. She converted Origomu into a business model for Women in Prison, teaching more than 200 inmates in New York, Colombia and the Dominican Republic to create art from refuse.
Her background as a marketing specialist, her passion for listening and collecting original stories, and her role as activist designer make her an outstanding storyteller.