From March ’09 Spotlight: DePaul University professor Achy Obejas has just published a new novel called Ruins, and she’s kicking off her nationwide Women’s History Month book tour on Thursday evening, March 5, at Chicago’s Women and Children First bookstore on Clark and Foster in Andersonville.

Like her first novel Days of Awe, Ruins explores life in Castro’s Cuba. This time, however, her protagonist is someone who chose to stay rather than flee, as her own parents did, in the early ‘60s. Ruins is set in the summer of 1994, a few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The economy is in shambles, and old friends are watching in turmoil as their children make plans to escape to Florida. The plot has a strong Jewish element, but I don’t want to spoil your fun by giving too much away.

For details about the reading on March 5, visit

For background, read the interview with Obejas posted on the National Yiddish Book Center website:

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