My Mother in Havana: A Memoir of Magic & Miracle

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Monkfish Book Publishing
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About the Author
Rebe Huntman is a memoirist, essayist, dancer, teacher and poet. For over a decade she was head of the award-winning Danza Viva Center for World Dance, Art & Music and its dance company, One World Dance Theater. Rebe collaborates with native artists in Cuba and South America, has been featured in Latina Magazine, Chicago Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune and on Fox and ABC News. The recipient of an Ohio Individual Excellence award, Rebe has received support for this book from the Ohio State University, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Ragdale Foundation, Playa, Hambidge Center, and Brush Creek Foundation. She lives in Delaware, Ohio and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
"My Mother in Havana, lifts the veil between the living and the dead and makes believers of us all. This story of a mother's absence and a daughter's need is written with a lyricism that filled my heart with beauty while also making it ache for loved ones lost. This is a stunning debut." --Lee Martin, author of Pulitzer Prize Finalist The Bright Forever"In Huntman's soul-stirring memoir, the author invites us to experience moments unbound from our accepted divisions of physical and spiritual worlds. With a pilgrim's devotion, and a grieving daughter's heart, Huntman takes us with her to places where, if we open ourselves fully, "one could simply lift one's palm and brush the heavens." --Brenda Miller, A Braided Heart: Essays on Writing and Form"More than a memoir, My Mother in Havana is a window to the spirituality of Cuba; Huntman's deep research and engagement with the rituals, specialists, and devotees of Afro-Cuban religion reflects her in-depth knowledge of these practices as both an observer and a participant."--Grete Viddal, PhD, Department of African and African-American Studies and Anthropology, Harvard University; Tulane University Stone Center for Latin American Studies Fellow"Rebe Huntman's My Mother in Havana does what all good memoirs should: travails a life with wisdom and insight, born of intimacy and vulnerability. Like the Trinity, My Mother in Havana is three things in one: an engaging travel narrative, a moving grief excavation, and an awe-inducing spiritual journey. Unlike the Trinity, Huntman's memoir defies the container of a single religious tradition. Huntman embraces multiple spiritual paths with humility and respect, seeking not just a mother beyond the grave, but a holy maternal energy long suppressed by mainstream traditions. My Mother in Havana is deeply feminist and fascinating--a profound depiction of one woman's spiritual quest for wholeness and healing."--Heather Lanier, author of the memoir Raising a Rare Girl
"My Mother in Havana is full of ceremony and ritual, movement and music, miracle and myth. This evocative memoir takes us along on the writer's quest "to call the ancestors and listen for their answer." On this remarkable journey, the veil between the spirit world and this world, between past and present, between who we were and who we are--"the thin scrim that separates this moment from what's to come"--nearly dissolves before our eyes. I closed this book believing more than ever that the people we love, including the people we've been, never really leave us."--Maggie Smith, New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful
"Rebe Huntman knows we are the stories we tell ourselves, and at the age of forty-nine, she flies to Cuba find the story she needs to tell, a shape she wants to live inside. Huntman's invitation in My Mother in Havana is so loving and generous, folding time and geography, loss and love, the corporeal and the spiritual, until we are all caught up in the swirl and breath and blood of the dance. In language pulsing with rhythm and ritual, Huntman leaves room for us to imagine what we might be looking for in our own lives, how we might need to mother and be mothered as we open to the messy wholeness of our own stories. What a gift."--Jill Christman, author of If This Were Fiction: A Love Story in Essays