"Scattering the Ashes" author to read

María del Carmen Boza, author of Scattering the Ashes, an account of the Cuban exile experience, will read selections from her acclaimed memoir at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, in the Special Collections room of Ladd Library. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Boza and her parents left Cuba for Miami in 1960, when she was 8 years old, after the Havana newspaper where her father was a senior editor was closed by the Castro government. Scattering the Ashes, (Bilingual Press, Arizona State University, 1998) the product of what Boza calls her quest to understand the reasons for her father’s suicide, is a book about Cuba and the power of history and politics over Cubans’ daily lives.

He “loved Cuba above all other things, animate or inanimate, real or imagined, remembered or forgotten,” wrote Boza of her father, Ramiro Boza, an ardent anti-Communist, who, discouraged, ill and depressed, shot himself in 1989.

As Boza watched aging, misunderstood Cuban exiles parade past the coffin at her father’s Miami wake, she became committed to exploring the reasons behind their single-minded devotion to Cuba, their restlessness even in a comfortable land of safety and their bitterness about their fate at the hands of both Castro’s government and U.S. administrations.

“This father-haunted Cuban memoir is absolutely mesmerizing,” wrote Howard Norman, author of the acclaimed novels The Bird Artist and The Museum Guard. “Scattering the Ashes immediately enters the most rarified, intimate room of posterity. Boza’s writing has unmitigated integrity, beauty, courage and passion.”

A Lewiston resident, Boza co-edited the anthology Nosotras: Latina Literature Today and wrote Questions from a Foreigner, which was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Boza, a tutor in the Writing Workshop at Bates College, graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Barnard College and received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is a member of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

Boza’s talk is part of the semester-long Readings with Bates Authors series.

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