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The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

Change is looming in Havana, Cuba's capital, a city a mere 90 miles from U.S. shores and one off-limits to most Americans. Over a five-year period, journalist Julia Cooke witnessed the social evolution on a very human scale. Meet the baby-faced anarchists with Mohawks gelled with laundry soap, whiskey-drinking children of the elite, Santeria trainees, pregnant prostitutes, and the university graduates planning to leave for the first country that will give them a visa. Havana today is a city electric with uncertainty, yet cloaked in cliche and plagued by political stagnation. How will the last generation of Cubans raised under Fidel Castro fare as the rest of the world beckons? 

Julia Cooke is a freelance journalist and teacher who has lived in and reported from Mexico City and Havana. Born and raised in Portland, she now lives in New York City where she writes and teaches at the New School. Her essays about Cuba have been published in Conde Nast Traveller, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Best Women's Travel Writing anthology, among other publications. 

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