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October 20, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
Virtual Author Series: Dr. Susannah Rodríguez Drissi and Dr. Vanessa Garcia
Books & Books and the Cuban Research Institute present…
An Evening with Dr. Susannah Rodríguez Drissi
In conversation with Dr. Vanessa Garcia
Tuesday, October 20, 7pm
LIVE via Crowdcast
In Until We’re Fish, Rodríguez Drissi investigates the complicity between Cuba’s Americana and the 1959 Cuban Revolution to reckon with the emotional, psychological, and historical forces that drive Cubans away from their island. Though a work of fiction, to help shape her novel the author reached deep into her real family’s feelings of love and bitterness for what they left behind in Cuba. Stunning and elegiac, Until We’re Fish juxtaposes powerful images of landscapes, playful meditations on life, and penetrating insights into the human heart, to richly bring to life the story of rapscallion dreamer Elio, a Cuban teen whose unbridled confidence is severely tested after a near-fatal shark attack. Elio longs for freedom from the dreary home he shares with his mother. He spends his days and nights fantasizing about an American bike and Maria, his vivacious next-door neighbor. Two obstacles stand in his way: the 1959 Cuban Revolution and Maria’s dream of moving to Chicago. Yet Elio is steadfast in believing that somehow, some way he will get both the girl and the Schwinn. When an injury leaves him terrified of the sea, he’s faced with an impossible choice: to overcome his fear and do whatever it takes to realize his vision, or to stay safe, and risk losing everything he’s been living for.
About the Author:
Dr. Susannah Rodríguez Drissi, is an award-winning Cuban-born poet, writer, playwright, translator, director, producer, and scholar. She is Faculty in Writing Programs at UCLA, Affiliate Scholar in UC-Cuba Program Initiative, and Associate Literary Editor for Cuba Counterpoints, Cuban and Caribbean Research Studies Institute. As a 1.5-generation writer (born in Cuba in the 1970s, but coming of age in the US), Rodríguez Drissi writes about Cuba through a double lens—from the vantage point of the native and also from the benefit of a temporal and geographical distance. She is the author of the poetry collection The Latin Poet’s Guide to the Cosmos (Floricanto Press, 2019) and Rey y Atenea / Rey and Atenea, a Bilingual Edition (Cassandra Press, 2019).
About the Conversant:
Dr. Vanessa Garcia is a multi-disciplinary artist working as a novelist, playwright, and journalist. Her debut novel, White Light, was published in 2000, to critical acclaim.