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Challenge of dual cultural identity explored


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 23, 2001

If you walk the halls and sidewalks of the University of South Florida, you cannot help but notice an eclectic mix of ethnicities, with many students having traveled to Tampa from places as far away as Russia and Saudi Arabia. With such a diverse mix of backgrounds, it's easy to overlook the many difficulties people face when entering an unknown culture.

Cristina Garcia, a Cuban-born American novelist and journalist, will address these challenges during her lecture Tuesday night, "Assimilation into a Culture not Your Own." Her presentation will be an extension of her personal experiences and writing.

Born in Havana, Garcia and her family left for New York when she was 2 years old. Since then, she has been a Time correspondent and Miami bureau chief, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University and a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award.

Her debut novel, Dreaming in Cuban (1992), which was nominated for a National Book Award, explores the emotional attachment of the main character, Pilar, to Cuba, a feeling also shared by the author. In her highly acclaimed second novel, The Aguero Sisters, she continues to work with dual cultural identity.

The lecture series event is part of USF's Women's Awareness Month and is sponsored by USF's University Lecture Series, with support from the departments of English, Women's Studies, World Languages and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

If you go

WHAT: Cuban-American author Christina Garcia presents "Assimilation into a Culture not Your Own."

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: University of South Florida Tampa Campus, Phyllis P. Marshall Center Ballroom

COST: Free

CALL: (813) 974-3574

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