Tuesday, May 09, 2023

What is Aaron Hamburger reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Aaron Hamburger, author of Hotel Cuba: A Novel.

His entry begins:
Currently I’m reading Russian Thinkers by Isaiah Berlin. I was teaching a course on Tom Stoppard’s plays, including The Coast of Utopia, which is about the revolutionary writers and philosophers in the mid-1800s who laid the groundwork for the Russian Revolution years later. Stoppard leaned heavily on Berlin’s book to write his play. Russian Thinkers is not exactly a beach read, but it’s a fascinating portrait of time and place that helped me understand better the conditions that allowed the Russian Revolution to happen years later. One of my favorite parts is the portrait of...[read on]
About Hotel Cuba, from the publisher:
From the award-winning author of The View from Stalin's Head, a stunning novel about two sheltered Russian Jewish sisters, desperate to get to America to make a new life, who find themselves trapped in the sultry, hedonistic world of 1920s Havana.

Fleeing the chaos of World War I and the terror of the Soviet Revolution, practical, sensible Pearl Kahn and her lovestruck, impulsive younger sibling Frieda sail for America to join their sister in New York. But discriminatory new immigration laws bar their entry, and the young women are turned back at Ellis Island. With few options, Pearl and Frieda head for Havana, Cuba, convinced they will find a way to overcome this setback.

At first, life in big-city Prohibition-era Havana is overwhelming, like nothing Pearl and Frieda have ever experienced—or could have ever imagined in the rural shtetl where they grew up. As the sisters begin to adjust, their plans for going to America together become complicated. Frieda falls for the not-so-dreamy man of her dreams while Pearl’s life opens up unexpectedly, offering her a taste of freedom and heady romance, and an opportunity to build a future on her own terms. Though to do so, she must confront her past and the shame she has long carried.

A heartbreaking, epic family story, Hotel Cuba explores the profound courage of two women displaced from their home who strive to create a new future in an enticing and dangerous world far different from anything they have ever known.
Visit Aaron Hamburger's website.

The Page 69 Test: Hotel Cuba.

My Book, The Movie: Hotel Cuba.

Writers Read: Aaron Hamburger.

--Marshal Zeringue