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My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood: 12/07/11
I'm not sure when my interest in Havana started. Maybe it was the film Our Man in Havana or the Graham Greene book that inspired it. Or maybe it was the book simply called Havana which had a bunch of excerpts about the city.
Regardless of what started my interest in the city and more broadly, Cuba, I had to read My Havana by Rosemary Wells when I saw it on display in the children's library. The book is a biography of Cuban American architect, Secundino "Dino" Fernandez
Fernandez was born in Havana and loved to draw its buildings from a very early age. The book chronicles how he went to live in Spain and later to New York City after Castro. In both of those moves he relied on his memory of Havana and his ability to draw pieces of the city. In New York, facing excruciating homesickness he created a cardboard replica of his favorite Havana neighborhoods.
Throughout the book are lovely pastel illustrations by Peter Ferguson. They capture the warmth Havana even when it was only a memory being recreated in Dino's drawings.