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September 2, 2021 @ 7:00 pm

My Native Land is Memory: An Evening with Oliva Espín


September 2, 2021
7:00 pm

Books & Books and The Cuban Research Institute present…

An Evening with Oliva Espín

My Native Land is Memory: Stories of a Cuban Childhood

Thursday, September 2, 7 PM ET

LIVE via Crowdcast



In “My Native Land is Memory”, Olivia Espín brings to life the Cuba of her childhood. This is a memoir of childhood and adolescence; tales of growing up in pre-Castro Cuba that vividly and poignantly evoke a long-gone era. It recreates a world that does not exist any longer: Cuba in the 1940s and 50s.

Stories about Cuba’s fraught history and political instability are interwoven with personal story in a web of history, family stories, and personal memories. This is a narrative of a young person’s individual struggle for identity and independence agains the background of the country’s national struggle. Family photographs and site photographs illustrate the narrative. The island’s history and political shifts are seamlessly interwoven into a beautiful coming of age story that is at once a love letter, analysis, and celebration of a family and national still alive in the author’s memory. The book is written with sensuous detail, cultural-historical specificity, and psychological insight.


About the Author:

Oliva M. Espín is Professor Emerita in the Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University and the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University. A native of Cuba, she received her BA in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and her PhD from the University of Florida, specializing in counseling and therapy with women from different cultures and in Latin American Studies. She has done postdoctoral work at Harvard University with a fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health. Among many professional awards, in 1991 she received the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Public Service; in 2001 she received the Distinguished Career Award from the Association for Women in Psychology, and in 2008 the Christine Ladd-Franklin Award from this Association for her many contributions to Feminist Psychology. Throughout her career she has done research, teaching and consultation and published many articles and books. Dr. Espín held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria in 2010.