Thursday, February 18, 2016

Los Desengaños is mentioned in the best seller book The Sugar King  of Havana, The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Tycoon, by John Paul Rathbone.
On page 107 . . . Before that, one of my cousins remembers playing at a ruined mill in Camaguey that was built in the 1850s but never operated. It was called El Desengaño, the Disappointment--a fitting Cuban epitaph.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Peace on Earth!

My son Jeff took this photo while looking in vain for any sign of Los Desengaños. Why does it make me think of a Nativity Scene?

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year's Day 1956

Get them while they are hot!
Are books that perishable, like muffins or fresh fish?
Every book presentation begins with "A New book by . . . the Latest from . . ."
Los Desengaños is now three years old, no longer a new book, not yet a classic but what is it? One thing we can say about it is that it is still the Latest from this writer.
Here is one of the missing illustrations I keep hearing about. A wedding photo to be inserted following page 126 in the printed book.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lechon asado, 2 August 1938

Dia de los Angeles gathering at Los Desengaños.
My mother, Angela Agramonte, is at the extreme left. Next to her and under the large bows are Angelita (that's me) with my hand on my face and Lucy in a not very lady-like pose; then Oli and visiting cousins from Nuevitas, Camaguey and Habana. My father is in the back behind the pole with the pig. The man with the hat just spent the whole morning turning that pole. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Swan Song Book

A Swan Song Book
The one story
I must write
No one else can

Publishing houses are only interested in books written by thirty years olds who can produce a new title every other year. The name of the author is what sells the book and often appears in larger font on the cover than the book title. Readers shop by authors; they look for a name whose work they have discovered already. Alternately, they pick up a book written by someone whose name is familiar: a movie star, politician, serial killer . . . anything, just so the name has been in print before. “How To” books from non-celebrities may be considered, but that is about all.
That leaves out all those bits of history known as Memoirs. Put together they paint the story, not just of a person or a family, but of an era. And in the case of my one book, Los Desengaños, it describes the end of a way of life and, from a particular point of view, the end of a country.
Since there was no point for an eighty year old unknown like me to even try to approach a publisher or an agent, I did what thousands of other “writers” are doing: I paid to have my book printed. To register my book and acquire an ISBN number from Bowker I had to name a publisher and instead of using my name I invented a publishing company. In a moment, Swan Song Books came into existence.