Presentation of Anita’s Revolution at new English-language bookstore in Havana

Cuba Libro, the English-language bookstore in Havana, sent out 200 email invitations to attend the presentation of my book, Anita’s Revolution. Fifty people squeezed into a space appropriate for forty. Some of those attending were those young volunteer teachers called “brigadistas“. They’re in their 60s now, but remember well that exciting time in 1961 when as teenagers they were part of the thousands who volunteered for the literacy campaign that taught almost a million illiterate Cubans to read and write in less than a year.

In the audience was a journalist from Montana, an historian, several Canadian tourists, some Cuban teachers of English and some book people. I had just begun my talk when proceedings were interrupted by the arrival of around 22 visiting Art and Architecture students from an American univesity and their prof. My presentation was well-received, and the Q&A period after was lively. The audience was very moved by vivid descriptions by the people who were “brigadistas” in 1961 telling of their experiences as young people teaching adults, the primitive conditions some people lived in then, the varied challenges, and the dangers some experienced from enemies of Cuba’s Revolution.

Thanks to Connor Gory, Cuba Libro’s owner/manager, for organizing the event and providing such a fine introduction. If you go to Havana, go have a good Cuban coffee on the patio of Cuba Libro. The address is Calle 24, esquina 19, Vedado, in Havana.

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