Monday, March 16, 2009

Interview: Jana K. Lipman

Jana K. Lipman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Tulane University.

Her new book is Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution. She generously responded to several questions of mine, including:
Zeringue: For better or worse, many readers really do judge a book by its cover. Would you explain your cover and comment on how it conveys what the reader will find in the pages?

Lipman: The cover image illustrates a member of the US military patting down a Cuban base worker as he is either leaving or entering the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay in 1960 (the year after the Cuban revolution). First, there’s such friction and tension in the photograph. The US man literally has his hands on the Cuban worker, but both are determinedly looking past each other. It seemed to symbolically represent the unequal, yet interconnected, relationship between the two countries. Second, the book is about the base workers and their stories. In one image, the cover captures the awkward and often tense proximity between the US military and the Cuban men and women who worked on the base.
Read the complete Q & A.

Writers Read: Jana K. Lipman.

--Marshal Zeringue