Waking in Havana explores territory few dare to tread. Set in turbulent times where Cold War Cuba meets the AIDS crisis, Schwolsky succeeds in crafting a deeply intimate tale of grief and healing – hers and others – while immersed in a foreign (and often contradictory) culture. Charting an uncertain course from her home in New York to the AIDS sanatorium in Havana, the author reveals a chapter in Cuban history largely hidden from outsiders. Schwolsky’s memoir probes thorny issues including survivor’s guilt, acculturation, bias, and addiction through painstaking prose full of the humanity, solidarity, creativity and humor for which Cubans are known. This firsthand account from the frontlines of Cuba’s AIDS program is guaranteed to make readers laugh and cry – much like the misunderstood island the author grew to know and love.
author of 100 Places in Cuba Every Woman Should Go
and manager of Cuba Libro,
Havana’s only English language bookstore