On Tuesday, January 19th at 4:00pm PST Warwick's will host Serena Burdick as she discusses her new book, Find Me in Havana, in conversation with Nina Lopez. Serena Burdick is the Toronto Star, Publishers' Weekly and international bestselling author of The Girls with No Names and the 2017 International Book Award Winner for Historical Fiction for her novel Girl in the Afternoon: A Novel of Paris. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence, holds a Bachelors of Arts from Brooklyn College in English literature and an Associates of Arts from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in theater. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.
Cuba, 1936: When Estelita Rodriguez sings in a hazy Havana nightclub for the very first time, she is nine years old. From then on, that spotlight of adoration—from Havana to New York’s Copacabana and then Hollywood—becomes the one true accomplishment no one can take from her. Not the 1933 Cuban Revolution that drove her family into poverty. Not the revolving door of oppressive husbands and the fickle world of film. Not even the tragic devastation of Fidel Castro’s revolution that rained down on her loved ones.
Thirty years later, her young adult daughter, Nina Lopez, is blindsided by her mother’s mysterious and untimely death. Seeking answers no one else wants to hear, the grieving Nina navigates the troubling, opulent memories of their life together and discovers how much Estelita sacrificed to live the American dream on her own terms.
When Nina Lopez asked her dear friend Serena Burdick to tell her mother’s story, Serena accepted wholeheartedly. Estelita Rodriguez was a Cuban-born Hollywood actress and singer with a life as fascinating and cinematic as the roles she played on the silver screen, leading up to her suspicious and unresolved death at age 37. Based on true events, weeks of interview time with Nina, and weaved with those intimate personal details about the star’s life that only a daughter could know, Serena brings Estelita back to life on the page for an authentic, true-to-life novel sparkling with the rawness and grace that defined Estelita’s life.