San Antonio Book Festival - Ruth Behar
Macarena Hernandez
Book Festival Author

Ruth Behar

Ruth Behar is a Cuban-American cultural anthropologist, poet, and writer of fiction for young people. She writes about her journeys in her books, An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba and Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in Between Journeys. Her bilingual poetry appears in Everything I Kept/Todo lo que guardé. She won the Pura Belpré Author Medal for her debut middle grade novel, Lucky Broken Girl, and her second novel, Letters from Cuba, is a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and received an International Latino Book Award. Behar is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was named a “Great Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and is a Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her latest work is a picture book, Tía Fortuna’s New Home (in Spanish, El nuevo hogar de Tía Fortuna), a Cuban Sephardic story about intergenerational memory. 

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Book by Ruth Behar

  • Tía Fortuna’s New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey by Ruth Behar

    Tía Fortuna’s New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey

    In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative—based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s—a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.

    When Estrella's Tía Fortuna has to say goodbye to her longtime Miami apartment building, The Seaway, to move to an assisted living community, Estrella spends the day with her. Tía explains the significance of her most important possessions from both her Cuban and Jewish culture, as they learn to say goodbye together and explore a new beginning for Tía.

    A lyrical book about tradition, culture, and togetherness, Tía Fortuna's New Home explores Tía and Estrella's Sephardic Jewish and Cuban heritage. Through Tía's journey, Estrella will learn that as long as you have your family, home is truly where the heart is.


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