Buffalo Rising

Olga Karman @ Talking Leaves

by buffalorising

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Olga Karman, Cuban-born poet and educator who has spent the last several decades in Buffalo, will unveil her new memoir, Scatter My Ashes Over Havana (Pure Play Press), at a reading and book signing at Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St, on Thursday, August 3rd, at 7 pm. This event is free and open to the public. The book will be for sale at the reading; copies are in stock and available for purchase in both Talking Leaves locations now.

Olga Karman recreates a vast piece of personal and social history as she describes her flight from her native Cuba amid political turmoil, her struggle for a new life in the United States, and an eventful return visit to Cuba some 37 years afterward. Scatter My Ashes Over Havana depicts these experiences with a poet’s keen language, in a narrative that stays refreshingly brief.

Ms. Karman has composed a poetic memoir dealing with exile and immigration, with the search for identity in a new land, with a woman’s hard work and struggle in making a life for herself and her children. The book is, most profoundly, about finding home.

Scatter My Ashes Over Havana has powerful scenes of revolution in Cuba and of social upheaval in the United States during the 1960‘s. It shows the fight of Hispanic peoples for social and political recognition in Buffalo, New York, a city that receives an especially colorful and sympathetic portrayal in the recounting of Olga’s experiences.

Finally, Scatter My Ashes Over Havana portrays the tremendous drama of going home again. Contrary to popular wisdom, Olga Karman discovers that going home again is a necessary personal act--and as difficult as the encounter might be, it gives us perhaps our best chance to come to terms with ourselves.

Ms. Karman’s book has been applauded by early readers, who have characterized it as evocative, lively, poetic, honest, unsentimental, and more. Gustavo Perez Firmat’s words are typical of the pre-publication praise—“deeply felt and beautifully written….a gem of a book!”

Olga Karman was born in Havana of Cuban and American parents. As a university student, she worked as a hospital volunteer tending Rebel Army soldiers who had been wounded in the Cuban Revolution. But she quickly grew disillusioned with the revolution and moved to the United States to marry her American fiancé. After finishing her education at Connecticut College and Harvard University, Olga became a professor at D'Youville College in Buffalo, New York, where she has taught Spanish language and literature for more than two decades. Her poetry has appeared in numerous places and in two books of her own. Scatter My Ashes Over Havana is her first book of prose.

For more information about this event, please contact Jonathon Welch at Talking Leaves, 716-837-8554, or http://tleaves@tleavesbooks.com/. Please add the reading and signing to the appropriate listing in your calendar of events.