Fort Greene Store:
Wednesday, November 13, 7:30 PM
Book Launch: Elena Schwolsky presents Waking in Havana: A Memoir of AIDS and Healing in Cuba
In conversation with Timothy DuWhite
Featuring a musical performance by Judy Gorman
Co-hosted by the New York Writers Coalition
Reception to follow
Nurse, activist, and writer Elena Schwolsky tells the story of her time in Cuba in her new memoir Waking in Havana. Schwolsky first arrived at the then forbidden island with a brigade of young American volunteers in 1972, a moment of transition in her life where Cuba represented hope and the power to change. She returns twenty years later, yearning to move out of grief following the death of her husband from AIDS and feeling burned out after spending ten years as a nurse on the frontlines of the epidemic. Schwolsky takes readers along with her through her humorous attempts to communicate in a new language and navigate this very different culture – through the leafy tranquility of the controversial AIDS Sanitorium and into the lives of the resilient, opinionated, and passionate Cubans who become her family and help her to heal. Timothy DuWhite, a Black, queer, poz-writer/artist and the New York Writers Coalition Program Director, joins Schwolsky in conversation, and singer-songwriter Judy Gorman (The Rising of Us All; Analog Girl in a Digital World) will open the event with a performance. The New York Writers Coalition co-hosts this event, and a reception follows to celebrate the book’s launch.