Here is what showed up at my house this week:
The Death of Fidel Perez by Elizabeth Huergo (April 2013) arrived from Unbridled Books. From the publisher:
On July 26, 2003, the 50th anniversary of the Moncada Army Barracks raid that sparked the Cuban revolution, something unexpected happens. When Fidel Pérez and his brother accidentally tumble to their deaths from their Havana balcony, the neighbors’ outcry, “Fidel has fallen,” is misinterpreted by those who hear it. The wishful mistake quickly ripples outward on the running cries of the people, and it gloriously reawakens a suppressed city. Three Habaneros in particular are affected by the news—an elderly street visionary named Saturnina, the remorseful Professor Pedro Valle, and his impressionable firebrand of a student, Camilo—all haunted by the past and now, once again, made to confront a new future, perhaps another revolution. Their stories are beautifully intertwined as they converge in the frantic crowd that gathers in La Plaza de la Revolución. Both insightful and personal, by turns humorous and poignant, The Death of Fidel Pérez reflects the broken promises of the Cuban Revolution. Elizabeth Huergo’s breathtaking debut fairly rings with the triumphant heart of a nation.
Elizabeth Huergo was born in Havana and immigrated to the United States at an early age as a political refugee. A published poet and story writer, she lives in Virginia. The Death of Fidel Pérez is her first novel.
Plume sent me a copy of Dwarf: A Memoir by Tiffanie Didonato with Rennie Dyball (November 2012). This is a memoir of “grit and transformation for anyone who has been told something was impossible and then went on to do it anyway.” Tiffanie DiDonato was born with dwarfism, but she was also born with a serious case of optimism. She decided to undergo a series of painful surgeries that gave her an unprecedented 14 inches of height—and the independence she never thought she’d have. After her surgeries, she learned to drive, went to college, and led a normal life. She volunteered to write letters to troops stationed abroad, and one of those Marine pen pals ultimately became her husband. Dwarf is described as a “moving and at times funny testament to the power of sheer determination.”
Watch this ABC News interview with the author:
Tiffanie Didonato graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with a BFA in writing and communications. She is now a weekly columnist for the online magazine, Encore, where she also runs an online book club.
After nine years as a reporter and writer at People magazine, Rennie Dyball is now an editor for People.com. She has co-authored two books, Christian Siriano’s Fierce Style, and A Famous Dog’s Life with Hollywood animal trainer Sue Chipperton. She graduated from Penn State University and now lives with her husband in New York City.
Did any wonderful books arrive at YOUR house this week?