by Virgil Suárez
Publication Date: 1995
One phone call shatters the facade of tranquility presented by the entire Torres family, pitching its members into shockwaves of emotional upheaval that reveal the unsavory realities the clan prefers to ignore. Told in a fast-paced documentary style, Havana Thursdays is a compelling collection of voices of a Cuban-American family gathering during the crucial aftermath of a family member’s death. In alternating chapters, six strong-willed and vibrant women unfurl before the reader the richly hued tableau of their lives. Suárez delivers a hopeful message that human dignity and good will provide the resilience to help overcome crises. Ultimately, the Torres family of Cuban exiles is no different in its sorrows and joys than any other American family, regardless of ethnicity. With forays into the individual psyches of characters in crisis over love and loyalty, growing up and growing old, marrying and dissolving, Suárez’s portrayal of women is as daring as their resolve to pioneer generational changes for this conservative clan.
“A quiet but cumulatively affecting story. An insightful portrait of families, in the shadow of death and exile, behaving with commendable grace and compassion.”–Kirkus Reviews
“[This] rich, mesmerizing novel celebrates the ties that bind families together.”–Booklist
VIRGIL SUÁREZ, the only son of a pattern-cutter and piecemeal seamstress working the sweatshops, was born in Havana, Cuba in 1962 and raised in the United States since 1974. Suárez is the holder of an MFA in Creative Writing (1987) from Louisiana State University where he studied with Vance Bourjaily. He also studied with Sir Angus Wilson and Robert Houston, while at the University of Arizona. Although educated in the United States from the age of twelve, Suárez has explored the themes of immigration, exile, and acclimatization to life and culture in the United States.
Learn more by visiting his faculty page.