Julia Cooke: Life in the New Cuba

Julia Cooke
is a Portland-native reporter who now lives in NYC where she teaches Writing, and reports from Mexico and Cuba. Her first book, The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba, examines the new generation under the new post-Fidel era of Cuba. She follows a cast of characters whose goals include leaving Cuba for a college education, pursuing a profession as an artist, and making ends meet as a sex worker, among others. Most fascinating is insight into a land that has unfortunate stereotypes and misinformation, in slight part due to lack of access to the island.

downloadJulia Cooke has lived in Cuba on and off for five years and chose to write this book due to the lack of information we have about Cuba. While she was visiting her native home of Portland, we sat down at the Sellwood branch of the Multnomah County Library for a chat about her experiences as an American in Cuba, life under the new regime with Raúl Castro, and the conflict of living as a journalist as a friend to those she interviewed.

This interview was aired on KBOO Community Radio’s literary program, Between the Covers. Check out the podcast!

Air date: 5/22/2014: 

**This podcast features music by Prasanna and the Electric Ganeshaland Ensemble